Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Nadal insists he is not after Federer’s record

Nadal insists he is not after Federer’s record

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Rafael Nadal, the tennis superstar leading men's rankings, has clinched a record-extending 11th French Open win after beating eighth-ranked Dominic Thiem in straight sets to defend his title.

"Of course I have ambition".

With the two heavy favourites in the semi-finals winning, we have the final that most people during the latter stages would have wanted, Nadal v Thiem, and before I discuss the data in detail, I wanted to talk about their previous meetings a little more.

The top-seeded Nadal enters Sunday with a 10-0 record in title matches at Roland Garros and an overall career mark of 85-2 at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal had come into the year's second Grand Slam high on confidence, after wins in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome. Plus, consider this: Coco Gauff, a 14-year-old from Florida, beat Caty McNally, a 16-year-old from OH, in the junior final, the fourth time at the last five Grand Slam tournaments that two Americans played each other for the girls' title. Nadal's uncle and longtime former traveling coach Toni - who returned to watch his nephew Sunday - said essentially that only time will tell whether Federer can be caught. "I was 11 years old, watching in the TV and honestly never expected that one day I'd play the finals here". "I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days". You have to do your way. "I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back". "I want to think that is possible but I know maybe in a month Federer will win Wimbledon again".

- Victory on Sunday gave Nadal his 11th crown at Roland Garros from 11 finals. He won the first six points and broke for 2-0.

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He pulled out of planned appearances in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami before returning at the start of April for Spain's Davis Cup tie against Germany.

The world No. 1 wasn't as invincible this year - there may have been an injury issue - but he was still plenty good enough at the grand slam where he is virtually unbeatable.

"If you told seven or eight years ago that I will be here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are". "What is in my mind now is that I won a very important title for me", he added.

The next few games were an absolute treat for fans of clay court tennis.

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

Despite wracking up one title after another in Paris, it clearly still means plenty to the world No. 1. Max Decuguis won eight French Open titles between 1903 and 1914.

Juan Martin del Potro, who was run ragged by the world number one on Court Philippe Chatrier in this year's semi-finals, was right to state that it's nearly impossible to beat Nadal on clay.

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