Nadal, Federer Keep Winning Despite Age


Juan Martin del Potro jumped two spots to No 4 by reaching his first French Open semifinal in nine years, and Thiem rose one place to No 7 by reaching his first Grand Slam final.

In claiming a 17th Grand Slam title, Nadal matched Margaret Court's record of 11 titles at a single major - hers all coming at the Australian Open.

The title gives Nadal a total of 17 majors, moving to within 3 of long-time rival Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal won his record 11th French Open over the weekend, and he took home the same paycheck as women's champion Simona Halep.

With his successful French Open title defense, Nadal will remain at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, just 100 points ahead of Roger Federer.

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Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again.

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.

Despite matching Nadal forehand for forehand, Thiem was undone in the 10th game when three errors handed Nadal the opening set after 52 minutes on court. Nadal's had some challenges at Roland-Garros' championship stage over the years, but few athletes in any sport have ever been more acclimatized to a venue the way Nadal has owned the terra firma of Roland-Garros' grounds.

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 can't be always thinking of more", Nadal said with a smile.

He got to hoist the Coupe de Mousquetaires for the eleventh time, after having won his eleventh titles earlier this season in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

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Following his victory on Sunday, Nadal told reporters that he isn't "crazy" about catching Federer on the all-time Grand Slam title list. "I think I have showed that I can this week", insisted Zverev.

Austria's Dominic Thiem strained every sinew trying to cling on to the 32-year-old Spaniard and at times even gained a precarious foothold in his first grand slam final.

"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body".

"In the third set I noticed I had cramps in my left hand, I was scared because there was a lot of humidity", he explained in his post-match interview. "You could nearly see the hand start cramping up as the fingers go stiff - it's a awful feeling", Croft said. He played a great two weeks. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's odd run in the last two weeks was ended by Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets, although the first two sets were somewhat closer than anything Del Potro could muster.

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