World number one Rafael Nadal said it was beyond a dream to win his 11th Roland Garros title after defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday. Nadal finished another break in the third game to move in front, while injuring his left middle finger midway through the fourth game.
Although Nadal subsequently received treatment on his forearm it seemingly had little adverse effect and, after a second break of serve, his 11th triumph was secured at the fifth time of asking when Thiem sent a return long.
With a win in the final, he will become the first man ever and the second player to win a staggering 11 titles at one Slam, a feat only achieved by the legendary Margaret Court at the Australian Open so far.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is also vying for his 17th major trophy, which would move him within three of Roger Federer.
But from the moment Nadal broke serve in the 10th game to win the opening set Thiem's belief ebbed away.
There is not much more daunting of a task than doing so against Nadal at the French Open, where he is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall. That gave Thiem the smallest of windows to upset the greatest tennis player to step on a clay court in the sport's history.
The seventh seed comes into the match with the reputation of being the only player to have beaten Nadal in the last two seasons.
Rafael Nadal suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Earlier, Czech sixth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women's doubles final on Sunday, beating Japan's Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya 6-3 6-3 to claim their first grand slam title.
Halep has lost in her two previous appearances at the French Open finals, in 2014 and 2017.
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.
By contrast, Thiem was competing in his maiden major final and although he matched his illustrious opponent for large parts of the opening set, he crumbled at the crunch and never really regained his poise.
Rafael Nadal continued his record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros.
Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again. Another forehand victor from Nadal followed, and this time Thiem looked up toward his coach and yelled. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.
- Durant expects to re-sign with Warriors
- Trump's top economic adviser accuses Trudeau of back-stabbing after G7 summit
- Stormy Daniels brings her act to the Triangle
- UK's top court says Northern Ireland's abortion ban violates human rights
- United Kingdom calls on Israel to conduct ‘independent inquiry’ into Gaza deaths
- Trump Administration Court Filing Threatens Coverage for Preexisting Conditions
- Trump says he ordered his representatives not to sign G7’s final communique
- 'New blood test may predict premature birth risk'
- China trying to avoid escalation of trade frictions with US
- Hypocritical much? Trump wants to pardon Muhammad Ali while condemning the NFL