Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Nadal insists passing Federer's 20 Slams not on agenda

Nadal insists passing Federer's 20 Slams not on agenda

Sunday's win was Nadal's 17th major trophy, only putting him three behind Roger Federer.

"It's wonderful now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory. He removed the tape from his left wrist and seemed to take a tablet. But as Nadal's uncle, Toni Nadal, said shortly afterwards, "this is not normal".

His service to the sport has afforded him the right to conserve fuel for when he thinks it's best utilised, and unfortunately for Nadal, his participation at Wimbledon will likely impede others from getting at the men's silverware.

Dominic Thiem remembers sitting in front of a TV to follow along as Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam final debut and won his first French Open title back in 2005.

Nadal now stands at 86-2 at French Open and continues to remain unbeaten in finals in Paris.

Ramos is now in Russian Federation with the Spanish squad as they prepare for the World Cup, but took time out to tweet in Spanish, hailing Nadal for his "dynasty on clay", calling him a "tennis legend" and "sporting hero".

Over the best-of-five sets on clay, Nadal improved to 111-2 - it is a figure nearly as imposing as the nearby Eiffel Tower - his lone reverses coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 at the French Open.

Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay.

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That it was not was testimony to Nadal's level, which never wavered, despite everything Thiem threw at him. Both losses came against Thiem. He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2.

That's three behind Federer who is more than four years older.

Nadal is 50-2 on the surface in that span.

Unfortunately for him, Thiem began the second set the same way he ended the first. Nadal's streak began at Roland Garros previous year and was ended by Thiem, who beat the Spaniard in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. He dropped serve on a fifth break chance.

A tight opening set saw Thiem hit back in the third game after losing his break of serve in the second, but Nadal was soon at his athletic best and was able to grab a big foothold in the match.

His lone opportunity of the set indeed vanished.

Thiem undid all his good work in the next game, netting an easy volley on the first point and gifting Nadal three more unforced errors to hand over the first set. Nadal took advantage, choosing his moments to attack with a wiliness that would impress military strategist Sun Tzu.

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