La Undecima-Rafael Nadal Wins 11th Roland Garros Crown for 17th Major Title
(June 10, 2018) World No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his 11th Roland Garros title and his 17th major crown, beating 7th seed Dominc Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday in Paris in two hours and 42-minutes. It’s Nadal’s 57th clay court championship and 79th career title. His win over the 24-year-old Austrian puts him over the 100-million-dollar earnings mark, joining Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
In winning his 11th French Open title ‘La Undécima’, he become the only player in the Open Era to have won so any major so many times. He ha also captured 11 titles at Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Nadal was 30-1 during the clay court season, his only loss coming in Madrid to losing finalist Thiem.
At 32, the Spaniard joins Rod Laver, Roger Federer and Ken Rosewall to win three major titles after turning 30. Rosewall who won the French Open 50 years ago, was on hand to present Nadal the trophy.
Nadal put on another dominant performance in his eleventh Roland Garros final – he had his serve broken only once during the match and that was in the first set, after taking a 2-0 lead over Thiem. Nadal broke Thiem’s serve in the ninth game to close the set 6-4. The Spaniard jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set and a 2-0 lead in the third.
Nadal had a scare in the third set, when it appeared that his left hand cramped and he had some problems with his left wrist, which was massaged by a trainer.
“Of course it was a special thing for me to play the first slam finals,” the Austrian said in his news conference.” But on the other hand, I was pretty calm and I knew that I go into it like it would be any other match. I think this was the right approach because if I let too much happen, my emotions, everything, because it’s the first Grand Slam final, it wouldn’t suit my game very well, and that’s why I went into it like every other match.”
“Physically I enjoyed more watching him on the couch,” Thiem said to media.
“But when he won here the first time, actually when he won here the first four or five times, I was always watching it. Of course it’s really a great thing that I made my way and that I was competing in a final against him. It’s a really great thing, honestly, but still I’m disappointed, of course. It was a final. I really wanted to win.
“I gave everything I had, and I’m the loser of today. So at the end, it’s not the best day.”
Nadal reacted to the very warm reaction received during the trophy ceremony, including his tears: “Yes, is true that in my career, I achieved much more than what I ever dreamed. But at the same time, in the other hand, it’s true that I went through tough moments, a lot of times in terms of injuries. So, for example, this beginning of the season in Australia when I have been in a good position to fight for important title for me, I had to go. And then in Acapulco, again, injured. And I couldn’t play in Indian Wells and Miami. And to arrived so-so, with some doubts with this clay court season. Yeah, of course, you know how difficult is everything, especially after went through these tough moments.
“Personally for me is amazing. I’m very emotional, no? Came back from this almost five months without playing a full tournament since Shanghai last year. First official event was in — well, the Davis Cup, but only two matches, and then Monte-Carlo. So a lot of months with problems. So coming back and have the chance to win in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here, yeah, it’s very emotional for me. Yeah, was a very special moment and received, you know, that minute or two minutes of the crowd supporting, that feeling in that moment was difficult to describe it. Very emotional for me.”
Let me enjoy this title,” Nadal responded when asked about being three majors behind Roger Federer. No, no, no, I can’t — I can’t be always thinking of more. Of course, I have ambition, of course. I have passion for what I am doing.
“But I never have been crazy about all this kind of stuff. No, you can’t be frustrated always if somebody have more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you. You can’t live with that feeling, no? You have to do your way. And then you have to be happy with the things that are happening to you, no? Because if you are looking next to you, you can be frustrated thinking that people have more things than you in general terms. I am not this kind of person. I happy that other people have things, and I am very satisfied, and I feel very lucky with all the things that happened it me.
“Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger in the future or even more, but being honest, is something that is not in my mind. What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me. I add one more Grand Slam. 17 is an amazing number. I feel very lucky to all of the things that have happened to me. I am enjoying that moment.
“And that doesn’t mean that I will not keep fighting for give me more chances in the future, in the next tournaments, Grand Slams, Masters 1000, 500, 250s. I play for my happiness, and I know that I had already, yeah, an amazing career. So I just gonna keep fighting for things and that’s it.”
On Simona Halep winning the women’s title: “She’s a great fighter. One of the players on the women’s tour with better movements on court. No doubt about it.
“Is nice that after the final that she lost last year with so many chances, having breaks in the second and in the third, I think, she was able to win a Grand Slam. She deserve it. She’s No. 1 of the world. She’s hard worker.
“I like the people who works hard that have success, because I believe that they deserve it. She’s one of them. Happy for her.”
“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 almost impossible, but here we are. I am not much worried about the future. I always say the same: Tennis is a very important part of my life, without a doubt, but is not everything.”
Nadal will remain atop the ATP World Tour rankings for the 177th week, as the grass court season begins.