Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 11th French Open title

Rafael Nadal was understandably delighted in the aftermath of his 11th French Open title win on a historic day at Roland Garros.

But Thiem, unusually standing up to Nadal's first serve, forced two break points in the next game and converted the second with a flashing forehand into the right corner. He removed the tape from his left wrist and seemed to take a tablet.

"I was not able to move the hand, the finger", Nadal said. Court claimed the last of her 11 at the Australian Open in 1973.

But those are not quite the same as the French Open, where Nadal is 86-2 for his career.

Thiem had been the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the last two years - in Rome last year and Madrid this year - but at no stage did he pose a real threat to Nadal who went from strength to strength as the match went on.

"Yes, and it's going to take probably one or two more years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's coach. He pounded huge serves that topped 135 miles per hour (220 kph) - about 25 miles per hour (40 kph) better than Nadal's fastest - and translated into seven aces but also had five double-faults.

"The King of Clay" won French Open number nine and record a fifth successive victory by defeating rival Djokovic in four sets.

Nadal is now the fourth man in the Open Era to win three or more Grand Slams after turning 30, having won his third since turning 30.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set.

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Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

That it was not was testimony to Nadal's level, which never wavered, despite everything Thiem threw at him.

He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2.

His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open a year ago, when Nadal also held the early advantage.

"It's incredible, I can't describe my feelings because it's not even a dream to win here 11 times", said an emotional Nadal after the final.

The problem for the 24-year-old was that his serve wasn't co-operating.

Another feature was his ridiculously slow play when serving, nearly always over the 25-second limit and sometimes going well into the thirties.

The Austrian hit straight back to inflict an eleventh break of the tournament on the Spaniard as the first set became a mixture of brilliance and attrition, with the first seven games taking 45 minutes. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge.

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