Awe-inspiring Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open title

Marian Vajda makes big admission about Novak Djokovic's level

Marian Vajda makes big admission about Novak Djokovic's level

But once a competive first set went the way of the world number one, the plan became damage limitation and Nadal's "undecima" never looked in any doubt.

"I still remember when you won here the first time in 2005".

He again also shattered Federer's hopes of becoming only the third man in history to hold all four majors.

"It's fantastic now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.

The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg.

Nadal's career title count, which is now fourth on the all-time list, behind Jimmy Connors (109), Federer (97), and Ivan Lendl (94), and ahead of John McEnroe (77), whose tally he equalled and then surpassed with titles this year in Barcelona and Rome, respectively.

But most of what transpired Sunday afternoon was eminently familiar: The distinctive roar of appreciation when the Spanish superstar walked into the stadium, the whirring accompaniment of photographers' motor drives as he tossed the ball skyward, the sense that when he closed out the first set, it was ballgame on center court even though it was best-of-five on paper.


"For me, you know, if you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".

He followed that up with his second title at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over Czech Tomas Berdych. It added more voices by the time 2008 rolled around.

Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open. Federer had ended Djokovic's 43-match undefeated run in the semi-finals. The previous record was four, when Australian legend Laver won all the majors in 1969 to complete the Calendar Slam. He lost in the semifinals in the last two years and has been the second best clay-court player in the world during that time.

In the 13 years since making debut in Paris, Nadal has tasted defeat just twice. One more backhand error from Thiem would see Nadal raise his hands in triumph.

He still won the game anyway before summoning the doctor and trainer courtside.

Beaten French Open finalist Dominic Thiem believes this won't be his only shot at Grand Slam glory.

Rafael Nadal needed less than a set to take command of the French Open final and overcame a late problem with his racket-holding hand to earn a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday. Only two players have ever come from two sets down to beat the Spaniard, and neither of those occasions was on his favourite surface.

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