Nadal, Federer fight 'the watch,' keep winning Slams

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It leaves Nadal just three adrift of the 20 grand slam titles won by Federer, who returns to action on the ATP Tour for the first time since March at the Stuttgart Open, having opted to skip the clay-court season for the second year running.

Victory on Sunday meant that Nadal became just the fourth man of the modern era to win three or more Grand Slam titles after turning 30, joining Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.

Not that 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, whose latest feat is all the more remarkable considering he was sidelined for several weeks this year due to injury, is preoccupied with trying to keep up with his Swiss rival.

It was clay-court tennis as usual at Roland Garros on Sunday, as the Spaniard won his 11th French Open singles title.

Rafa Nadal wrote another chapter in his extraordinary career in Paris yesterday by brushing aside Dominic Thiem to win his 11th French Open title.


Elaborating further on Nadal's French Open win, Federer added: "You can use only superlatives to describe that". And I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back.

In Madrid, Thiem said the key was to be positive against Nadal.

In the meantime, Nadal is scheduled to compete at Queen's Club next week, before bidding for a third Wimbledon title.

"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body". He lost to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in five sets in the first round at the claycourt Major, that sent his ranking tumbling.

After an intense clay court season in which he also collected an 11th Monte Carlo and Barcelona crown and suffered only one defeat in 27 matches, Nadal will take time out for fishing in his native Mallorca before the grass court swing. 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. There is a reason why he won 11 times here.


While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition. "I can't be always thinking of more", Nadal said with a smile.

"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. My preparation, I believe, previous year went well. "I am sure you'll win here in the next couple of years".

On Sunday, he even halted play in the third set due to cramping in his finger that affected his blood circulation.

In the women's draw, Halep has eased the pressure on her shoulders after finally winning a first Grand Slam after losing her first three finals.

For Thiem, playing in his first Slam final, it was a tremendous letdown for a player who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.


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