Rafael Nadal Insists Passing Roger Federer's 20 Slams Not On Agenda

Rafael Nadal French Open

GETTYCecchinato faces Dominic Thiem this afternoon

The dust will hardly have settled on Nadal's record-extending 11th Roland Garros title achieved with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 defeat of Austrian Dominic Thiem before the demolition teams move in to start ripping out chunks of the old concrete.

The king of clay has his first major of 2018 and will be eager to add a second when the Grand Slam calendar turns to Wimbledon in July, although it's been eight years since he last made the final at SW19. Nadal also did not win the title in 2016, as he withdrew with an injury before his third-round match.

Nadal has never lost a best-of-five match on clay after winning the first set, and Thiem was unable to change that equation.

Nadal broke Argentinian Guillermo Vilas's 29-year record of 53 consecutive clay-court match victories by winning his first-round match at the 2006 French Open.

Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did past year, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title. I played my best match of the tournament, it's unbelievable and I'm very happy'.

Rafael Nadal duly collected his 11th French Open title here on Sunday with a brutal, brilliant, resilient and ruthless performance, just as he had done 10 times before.

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In full control of the French Open final, a rather familiar position for him, Rafael Nadal suddenly was anxious.

The tears that welled up when Nadal received the Coupe des Mousquetaires from Australian great Ken Rosewall showed just how much he still cares.

"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here. having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible", Nadal said.

The score may have looked rather routine but there was some drama in the third set when Nadal called for the trainer at 2-1, 30-0.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times, a feat that has been dubbed La Undécima, after Real Madrid's bid to win an 11th European Cup.

Overall, the 32-year-old has won 17 Grand Slam championships - the four most important tennis events held annually in France, United States, Britain and Australia.

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"I'd love to have 20 like Roger in the future or more, but it is not something in my mind".

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

Everyone is used to seeing Rafael Nadal dominate the clay-court season, particularly in Paris. One of the hardest hitters of the tennis ball, Thiem, playing his maiden Slam final, more than held his ground.

Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 24 degrees Celsius, the humidity approached 70 per cent.

On Sunday, Thiem was right out there at Court Philippe Chatrier, too, making his initial appearance in a major final, swapping shots with that very same Nadal. When he first halted play, Nadal removed that tape, which he said let his circulation improve.

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