Spain's Rafael Nadal poses with ball girls and boys as he celebrates winning the men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Austria's Dominic Thiem in three sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, June 10, 2018. Thiem returned to break Nadal's serve in the very next game. Nadal pushed through the mysterious pain and held on against Thiem's impressive backhand returns and - at times - equally matching forearm volleys.
Nadal stormed to a straightforward three-set win over Nadal at the French Open a year ago in the final four as the Spaniard went on to improve his stunning record at the Grand Slam.
Dominic Thiem is the last man standing in Rafael Nadal's bid to secure an 11th French Open crown.
"It's not even a dream to win here 11 times, because it's impossible to think of something like this", Nadal said after his victory. Frances Tiafoe, Jared Donaldson and the other young Americans are all capable of playing solid tennis on clay but it will take some time before some of them improve their game on the slowest surface up to the level of competing with the finest players on this surface.
Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 77 degrees (24 Celsius), the humidity approached 70 percent.
The second set was wrapped up as Thiem sent a backhand into the tramlines but the Austrian refused to capitulate and managed to save four break chances in the opening game of the third.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
The Austrian - competing in his first grand slam final after a pair of semifinal showings in Paris - needed to win the first set to have any realistic opportunity of ending Nadal's reign.
Nadal then served out that game.
A dejected Nadal suffered a stunning loss against Robin Soderling at the French Open.
Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format.
The Spaniard has been in fine form at Roland Garros and underlined his role as favourite with a crushing win against Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals. Another forehand victor from Nadal followed, and this time Thiem looked up toward his coach and yelled.
The Spaniard continued his extraordinary domination at Roland Garros with a ruthless 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.
Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again.
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