French Open 2018 Men’s title went in Rafael Nadal’s way on Sunday as the world number one seeded player won it for the 11th time beating Dominic Thiem in straight sets with a score of 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 despite a worrying injury scare in the closing stages of the final.
Nadal now has 17 Grand Slam titles which is only three less than that of his arch rival Roger Federer. With this win, Nadal joins Australia’s Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major. Moreover, this win also marked Nadal’s record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses. It was indeed a sad story for Thiem who was playing his first grand slam final despite being the only player to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.
Nadal took away the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2. The Austrian speared a 222 km/h ace just for good measure in the fourth game to save a break point. He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance which was highly cheered by the crowd. Despite replying Nadal’s forehand with forehand, Thiem lost the 10th game when three errors handed Nadal the opening set after 52 minutes on court. Finally, it was a wild, misguided forehand which ended the match for him, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal’s 12 in the set.
In the earlier nine contests between the two, the one who took the opening set had won the match. The same situation happened again when Nadal went 2-0 in the second set on a fifth break point as Thiem fired another backhand wide. Thiem wasted a break point in the seventh game as Nadal collected a time violation for taking too long to serve. Nadal saved it and went on to secure a two sets lead when yet another backhand from the Austrian drifted wide. Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1. The dominance of Nadal prevailed throughout the match and a love game took him to 4-2 before he eventually sealed the deal on a fifth match point when the Austrian fired another backhand long.