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    Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates by biting the trophy of the French Open after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 June 2018

In beating out Austria's Dominic Thiem the Spanish Rafael Nadal edges closer to Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams.

Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open on Sunday, matching Margaret Court’s record of 11 titles at a single major — hers all coming at the Australian Open in the 1960s and 70s.

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Spain’s Nadal did so against Austria’s Dominic Thiem who was trying to gain his first Grand Slam. The 32-year-old Spaniard took the win, 6-4 6-3 6-2 and earned his 17th Grand Slam title, just three short of Roger Federer’s record.

There was late-competition anxiety on part of Nadal who needed his left forearm massaged after beginning to suffer from a cramp.

"For me was scary, because I felt that I was not able to move the hand, the finger," Nadal said.

He also let four match points go at 5-2 but came back when Thiem's backhand went out of bounds.

Nadal up his arms and turned to his training crew including coach Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni who stepped down as the 11-time champion's coach last year.

Nadal had tears in his eyes as he received the Coupe des Mousquetaires from Australian great Ken Rosewall. "It’s amazing now, I can’t describe my feelings," Nadal told the crowd.

"It’s not even a dream to win here 11 times, because it’s impossible to think of something like this."


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