The clay court Master, Rafael Nadal came back to win his favorite championship for the 11th time. Less than two months after lifting an 11th trophy at the Monte-Carlo Masters and following that up with another 11th title at the Barcelona Open, the world number one completed the set with his victory at Roland Garros by beating the Austrian Dominic Thiem who’s playing in his first Grand Slam final.
Despite having a cramp in his left hand that had left him unable to move his middle finger, the Spainard managed to win 6-4 6-3 6-2 to earn his 17th Grand Slam, three adrift of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record.
The Austrian is the only man to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, winning in Rome and Madrid. Nadal’s only two loses in Roland Garros were against Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and against Djokovic in the quarterfinals in 2015. Rafa withdrew before the start of his third-round match in 2016 due to injury. Of those 86 victories, 78 have come when Nadal has won the first set, after which he has never lost a match on Parisian clay.
With this victory Nadal became the second player in history to win the same Grand Slam on 11 occasions after Margaret Court, who won 11 Australian Open titles between 1960 and 1973.