Sport

Nadal and Federer continue to race against time

Nadal and Federer continue to race against time

The top-seeded Nadal won the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 at Roland Garros in Paris against Thiem, a 24-year-old who is ranked No. 7.

For the first time ever Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up two grand slam titles each, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport.

Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open title.

Del Potro's triumph at the 2009 U.S. Open - he got past Nadal in the semifinals, then Federer in the final - stands alongside Marin Cilic's title at the same tournament as the only two examples of someone other than Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka claiming a major over the past 13 years. The clay of Paris is the clay of Nadal, who has fallen in victory six times to his back and thrice to his knees, plus the two occasions standing, winding up 10 times behind the baseline and one sprawled between the service boxes, living a single dream of many so very many times.

He said: "Let me enjoy this title".

At just 19, Nadal became the youngest victor of a Grand Slam title since Michael Chang won at Roland Garros in 1989 at 17.

"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here, 32 years old, having this trophy with me again, I would tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".




However, it was not all smooth sailing for Nadal on Sunday, as he started suffering cramps on his left hand in the third set.

Nadal avenged his defeat to the Swede at Roland Garros 12 months earlier.

Federer, 36, skipped the clay-court season for the second successive year, but will return for the grass-court season which culminates at Wimbledon next month. I have lost a lot of opportunities through injuries, and I know the years are going quick. "I think he is really good". Nadal was asked about equal pay in an interview with an Italian magazine, and he said he believes the players who generate more viewership should be paid more.

"But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995. I had a long and mentally tough clay court season because I played nearly all possible matches after coming from an injury.

Title number nine in his ninth final for Nadal and his 14th Grand Slam success on an afternoon where temperatures nudged 30 degrees.

As Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports notes, men have not always been the bigger draws as Grand Slam events. After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis. I didn't see much from the finals because I arrived here, warmed-up and played by myself.


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