Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title

As he sat down in the French Open lounge on Saturday, Günter Bresnik, Dominic Thiem's coach, was asked about Thiem's upcoming French Open final against Rafael Nadal, the finest clay court tennis player of all time.

"Tough moment in the third set when I got a little bit cramped on the hand", Nadal said.

Though he lost out to Dominic Thiem in the Semi-Final, it can be safely regarded that he is one of the upcoming players to emerge this year. Key in that regard was his backhand, which consistently flustered Thiem, who didn't have the same bag of tricks at his disposal.

Nadal twice had to call for medical attention during the third set of his tie with Thiem.

At two sets down it would require a virtual miracle for the 24-year-old to win but the fight was still evident in Thiem, who held from 0-40 down to kick start the third. McEnroe would win the battle of the fourth set but Borg ultimately won the tennis war, finally triumphing 8-6 in the fifth set to claim his fifth successive (and, as it would turn out, last) Wimbledon crown.

Known by the nickname "Ceck", he considers clay as his favourite surface and considers serves the best part of his game.

Rain had blighted several days of the tournament to this point, but Sunday saw no showers as Nadal breezed to a victory in straight sets by a score of 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

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Djokovic sprinted out to 5-2 but was reeled back in to 5-5, having squandered three points for a double break in the sixth game. She said Thiem must make the first move before Nadal settles in and he should also hope the weather is by his side on Philippe Chatrier. Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him, so he changed into a fresh one at a changeover, drawing catcalls from spectators. In Sunday's final of the French Open, the 32-year-old will take on his supposed successor on clay. Nadal nets it, Thiem takes the point 30-all now.

Nadal won the second set in 53 minutes.

Nadal has already established himself as one of the five greatest men's tennis players in history.

Although Safin remained utterly mercurial throughout his career, he was still good enough to blast Pete Sampras off the court in the 2000 US Open Final, and he won his second Major in Melbourne in 2005.

On a humid afternoon before a crowd peppered with celebrities from Zinedine Zidane to Hugh Grant he hardly showed signs of weakness, breaking immediately as his opponent got to grips with being in what was his first Grand Slam final.

Nevertheless, the Italian displayed marvellous inventiveness, nearly literally digging one or two low shots from Djokovic out of the clay, and even more importantly sheer tennis tenacity to win the day.

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