Rafa Rolls To 'La Undécima' At Roland Garros

10 June 2018 03:48
With everything to play for, Rafael Nadal saved arguably his best performance for last. The World No. 1 exhibited yet another ruthless display of aggression to emerge with the Roland Garros title on Sunday. Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 42 minutes to seize the Coupe des Mousquetaires for an unprecedented 11th time. The Spaniard saves his top level for championship occasions like these, and Sunday's affair on Court Philippe Chatrier was no exception. It is unfathomable. Eleven titles at a single Grand Slam tournament. 'La Undécima' lifts Nadal to truly historic territory. No other man or woman has achieved the feat in the Open Era. At the age of 32, Nadal continues to strengthen his legacy on his most dominant surface. Less than two months after lifting an 11th trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and following that up with another 'Undécima' at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, the Spaniard completed the set with his victory on Sunday at Roland Garros. Moreover, Nadal remains atop the ATP Rankings for a 177th week. [ALSO LIKE] With the victory, the Manacor native adds a 17th Grand Slam crown, which draws him to within three of Roger Federer's all-time record of 20. Furthermore, Nadal became just the fourth man in the Open Era to win three or more major titles after turning 30. It is an exclusive club that also includes Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.  Grand Slam Title Leaders Player Grand Slam Titles (1) Roger Federer 20 (2) Rafael Nadal 17 (3) Pete Sampras 14 (T-4) Novak Djokovic 12 (T-4) Roy Emerson 12 For the second straight year, Nadal leaves the European clay-court season with a staggering 24-1 mark. His only blemish was a quarter-final defeat to Thiem in his home capital of Madrid. But the Austrian was unable to find the formula to upset his Spanish opponent twice in one campaign. Thiem made it a tight encounter early in the opener, with the first set lasting 67 minutes. The Austrian broke back after Nadal seized an immediate break for 2-0, but was unable to sustain the same level of energy and pressure on the Spaniard throughout the match.  Two breaks in the second set proved critical and Nadal would roll from there, claiming the decisive break for 2-1 in the third after escaping a 0/40 deficit in the opening game. He secured his 11th Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy after two hours and 42 minutes, firing a service winner on his fifth match point. Nadal won 82 per cent of points on his first serve while claiming nearly half of total return points (47 per cent). Thiem did well to strike 34 winners (to Nadal's 26), but was victimised by 42 unforced errors. The World No. 1 extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead to 7-3, with all of their meetings coming on clay. One year after relinquishing just seven games in their semi-final encounter, Nadal replicated the feat. He is now 2-1 against Thiem this year, with his other victory coming in the Monte-Carlo quarter-finals. Most Titles At A Single Tournament (Open Era) Player Tournament Titles Rafael Nadal Roland Garros 11 Rafael Nadal Monte-Carlo 11 Rafael Nadal Barcelona 11 Roger Federer Halle 9 Nadal's 57th clay-court title caps a remarkable turnaround for the Spaniard. Just three months ago, he was forced to withdraw from ATP World Tour stops in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami due to a right hip injury. And now, he leaves the clay-court season with the loss of just five sets in 25 matches. Moreover, Nadal claimed a tour-leading fourth title of 2018 and joins Thiem and Alexander Zverev as 30-match winners this year. Thiem, who remains on top of the match wins leaderboard with a 35-9 win-loss mark, will celebrate a strong fortnight in Paris. The 24-year-old advanced to his first Grand Slam final with impressive victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Kei Nishikori, Alexander Zverev and Marco Cecchinato.  Thiem moves up one spot in the ATP Rankings, rising to No. 7 on Monday. Contesting his 17th tour-level final, he falls to 10-7 in title matches and 2-2 this year. He previously lifted the trophy in Buenos Aires and Lyon two weeks ago. His 10-match win streak entering the final equals the longest of his career. 2018 Match Wins Leaders Player Win-Loss (1) Dominic Thiem 35-9 (2) Alexander Zverev 34-9 (3) Rafael Nadal 30-2 (4) Juan Martin del Potro 28-7 . read full article

Source: Atpworldtour