Thiem hails "awesome" King of Clay after French Open defeat

Thiem arrived in Paris in hot form, having picked up more Tour-level wins than any player in 2018 and beaten Nadal in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last month, snapping Nadal's 21-match winning streak and his run of 50 straight sets won on clay.

There was late anxiety for Nadal as the predicted thunderstorms loomed and he needed his left forearm massaged after beginning to suffer from cramp.

After the victory - which saw Nadal claim his 17th Grand Slam title in total, just three behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 - social media was quick to laud the 32-year-old's staggering achievement.

Nadal condemned his great rival to his worst ever loss in a Grand Slam event with a 6-1 6-3 6-0 victory over Federer.

As Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem warmed up before the French Open final, the booming voice of an announcer at Court Philippe Chatrier called out each player's bona fides.

Of those 86 victories, 78 have come when Nadal has won the first set, after which he has never lost a match on Parisian clay.

Nadal ended a three-year Grand Slam drought with a brilliant performance against Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 French Open final. When a return went long on a fifth match point, Nadal raised his arms in joy. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge.

The 24-year-old is widely expected to be Nadal's heir on clay and Rusedski believes he must change his game if he is to fulfil his destiny.

Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'
In fact, German Chancellor Angela Merkel promptly retorted: "We have discussed Russia's participation (in G7)". Despite the tough talk, diplomats have described the ongoing discussions as "cordial and productive".

"Yes, and it's going to take probably one or two more years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's coach.

Thiem found some life and threatened with a break point in the seventh game, but Nadal broke his pace with a drop shot and finished it off with a passing shot, holding for 5-2.

Others highlighted Nadal's remarkable record at Roland Garros since first winning the title there in 2005.

"When he won here the first four or five times, I was always watching it".

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set. A forehand wide. A forehand into the net.

Soon, Nadal was finding his spots. Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him, so he changed into a fresh one at a changeover, drawing catcalls from spectators. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline, leaving Thiem sagging his shoulders and muttering.

The conditions might have contributed to the cramping that affected Nadal about two hours into the final. Nadal appeared to take more tablets.

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