Dominic Thiem hails 'awesome' King of Clay Nadal after French Open defeat

Rex Christensen
June 12, 2018

Nadal clinched a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros after he beat Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-3 6-2 in the summit clash in Paris.

Thiem arrived in Paris in hot form, having picked up more Tour-level wins than any player in 2018 and beaten Nadal in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last month, snapping Nadal's 21-match winning streak and his run of 50 straight sets won on clay.

Should the 20-time grand slam champion reach the final at the Mercedes Cup, something he has never previously done, he will replace Nadal as world number one.

And if Federer had 20 Grand Slam titles, Nadal is breathing down his neck again with 17.

Whatever the issue was, Thiem could not earn the break back-giving up another one while serving down 4-2-and Nadal took the third set and the title.

"You can't always be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you".

"I have never been insane about this kind of stuff", said Nadal.

"You can't live with this feeling". You have to do your way. "So I hope the kids are taking this and the Romanians will believe more in themselves".

"I don´t exactly know the relationship between them but it's clear that I don´t imagine being friend of someone with who you fight every day to be the best", Agassi said when asked to define Federer's relationship with Nadal.

Nadal will look to capture his 18th Grand Slam title next month at Wimbledon.

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Halep, who confessed on Saturday that she feels drained, will take two weeks off before she shifts her focus to the grass season.

"Sometimes, I see many, many players - even good players, top players - they go on the court against Rafa on clay, or Roger on hard court or any other surface, and you can nearly see that they don't really believe 100 percent that they can win", said Robin Soderling, who pulled off French Open upsets of Nadal in 2009, and Federer in 2010.

"In the last two years I lost against good players, so it also always depends on your opponent".

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. Nadal now has 11 French Open titles in his highly-successful collection.

At the Slam before that, the U.S. Open last September, Nadal was the last man standing.

"Winning 11 times is definitely one of the best things somebody ever achieved in sport".

German six-time Grand Slam victor Boris Becker: The legend continues.

This brief moment of the game raised a few eyebrows, including that of two-time Roland Garros champion Jim Courier.

It will be for the third time that Federer will become the world number one. Amazing! What a machine!

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