Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem, wins his 11th French Open title

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Cary Erickson | 10 June, 2018, 20:29

"He is one of the fittest guys on the tour so it was hard for him today", said Thiem, the only man to have defeated 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on clay this year.

Rafael Nadal will play against Juan Martin Del Potro, while Dominic Thiem takes on the Italian surprise Marco Checchinato. A forehand long. Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game run that put him up 3-0 in the second set.

Thiem dug in - especially in the roughly 13-minute sixth game - but he crumbled attempting to stay in the set, making four unforced errors.

Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match in his career before, goes on to face Austrian seventh seed for a place in Sunday's final. He also won the U.S. Open that year. The Austrian has improved on the return serves here to equalise the game. Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay.

Cecchinato said he was stunned by his triumph, coming just two years after his career was nearly derailed when he became embroiled in match fixing allegations.

He broke the Austrian in the third game of the set. Serving at less than 50%, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves.

Thiem courageously saved three break points to start the third, yet dropped serve in his next service game.

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At 10 p.m., the luminaria ceremony will be held to light candles in remembrance of those lost and in honor of those surviving. With a plethora of events and activities planned, Relay for Life is welcoming all of the Minot community to the event.

The trophy was carried into the Court Philippe Chatrier in a brown box during a brief ceremony before play begins and unveiled by the two stars of music and screen.

The players, male or female, with the next highest number of singles titles at the same major are Martina Navratilova (9, Wimbledon), followed by Roger Federer (8, Wimbledon), Serena Williams (7, Australian Open and Wimbledon), Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras (7, both at Wimbledon), Federer and Novak Djokovic (6, both at the Australian Open), Graf and Bjorn Borg (6, both at the French Open) and Serena (6, US Open).

It's also his 17th career major title.

The unseeded Hozumi and Ninomiya were the first all-Japanese duo to reach a Grand Slam final in women's doubles.

Nadal has been crowned the French Open champion an incredible 11 times, following successes in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Thiem also beat Nadal in Argentina back in 2016.

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. Only two players have ever come from two sets down to beat the Spaniard, and neither of those occasions was on his favourite surface.