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11 June 2018, 05:19 | Charlene Valdez
Switzerland's Roger Federer has made a fortune from his contracts with Nike
Nadal has now won three Grand Slam titles since turning 30 and only three men, Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who handed over the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy on Sunday, have managed more, having done it four times. Nadal's had some challenges at Roland-Garros' championship stage over the years, but few athletes in any sport have ever been more acclimatized to a venue the way Nadal has owned the terra firma of Roland-Garros' grounds.
In winning another French Open title, Nadal dropped one set the entire tournament.
His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open previous year, when Nadal also held the early advantage.
But, what about when Father Time opens up opportunities for the rest of the field?
Nadal will have Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams in his sights, and will be hoping to challenge the Swiss at Wimbledon at the start of July. "I really wanted to win", the 24-year-old Austrian said.
And he increased the tempo further, consigning Thiem to defeat in his first major final when the Austrian sent a return long. Despite thinking she may have blown her chance once again, she dug deep, changed her tactics and found an incredible level the rest of the way to leave Sloane Stephens stunned. That was part of a five-game run that sent Nadal on his way. But as inevitable as the history-making seems, it never ceases to amaze. For the past two years, Thiem has been threatening to encroach on Nadal's territory.
In 2017 tennis went back to the future. Sunday's victory guaranteed that he will remain No. 1 in the rankings. With the two tennis giants seemingly approaching something that resembled their best tennis, it's a real pity Williams' right pectoral muscle got in the way.
German six-time Grand Slam victor Boris Becker: The legend continues. He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2. In Madrid, Thiem thrived in the quicker, higher altitude conditions to win their quarter-final in straight sets.
The first set had taken 57 minutes, in stiflingly humid conditions, but there was to be no let-up for the underdog in the second. Eighty-two unforced errors for the Canadian didn't help his cause.
"I think today I played my best match of the tournament", Nadal said. I had a tough moment in the third set when I had a little bit of cramp. I had a long and mentally tough clay court season, of course, because I played nearly all the matches possible after coming from an injury. "It's playing with the dream of doing something better than what you're doing before".
Spaniard Nadal reclaimed his French Open title 12 months ago without dropping a set and triumphed at the U.S. Open.
He is now entered to play the Queen's Club tournament next week.
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