Rafael Nadal speaks out on catching Roger Federer's Grand Slam haul


Dominic Thiem remembers sitting in front of a TV to follow along as Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam final debut and won his first French Open title back in 2005.

After his triumph on Sunday, Rafa, who has 17 Grand Slams now and is just three behind his great rival Roger Federer, said that he simply wants to enjoy the moment and not worry about records.

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria's Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before.

This is the 11th French Open title and 17th Grand Slam for the Spaniard.

Thiem undid all his good work in the next game, netting an easy volley on the first point and gifting Nadal three more unforced errors to hand over the first set. But after, the Spaniard was imperious. Nadal's level immediately cooled off a little, though, and Thiem worked his way back into the set as he broke back in the following service game.

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But as soon as Nadal started downing salt tablets and undergoing hand and forearm massages at each change of ends, Thiem switched tactics and looked to extend the rallies in the hope of wearing his opponent out further. Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

But he could not match Nadal's point-by-point consistency and intensity on Sunday.

For the second year running Federer opted against playing at the French Open to spare his knees, but will be favourite to win Wimbledon next month and re-establish a four Grand Slam gap over Nadal on the list of all-time collectors of major titles.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News.

This year, Nadal dropped just one set in the entire tournament.

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It's hard to look at a 12-time Grand Slam champion and not compare him to what he was, but Novak Djokovic nearly needs to be viewed as a different player since his return from both personal issues and injuries. No, no, no, I can't - I can't be always thinking of more.

He persists at his punishing physicality and pounding shots even 13 long and grinding years after the wonder from the Spanish island of Mallorca debuted at Roland Garros with sleeveless shirts, clam-digger shorts, shoulder-length hair and MMA muscles, and, two days after his 19th birthday, won his first title and said, "I fight every point, every point, no?" A year ago he lost in the opening round to Tommy Haas. You can't live with that feeling, no? The world number one saved it and went on to secure a two sets lead when yet another backhand from the Austrian drifted wide.

"I have to come back to speak with my team", said Nadal, who pulled out of Queen's in 2016 -because of a serious wrist injury and previous year because of exhaustion. Nadal nets it, Thiem takes the point 30-all now.

In the tie-break of the tournament, Djokovic trailed 3-0, then played a couple of stunning points to save match point and give himself a couple of set points, before losing 13-11.

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