Sportspersons hail ‘alien’ Rafael Nadal after 11th French Open title

Sportspersons hail ‘alien’ Rafael Nadal after 11th French Open title

Rafael Nadal's legend grew even further following an 11th French Open title that took his tally of grand slam titles to 17.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after lifting the French Open title
Rafael Nadal celebrates with ball boys, ball girls and the trophy after winning the French Open final. (Source: Reuters)

Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets to clinch his 11th French Open title and take his already jaw-dropping win-loss record at the grand slam to 86-2. In so doing, he became the second player in tennis history to win 11 singles titles at any Grand Slam tournament after Margaret Court, who claimed 11 Australian Open titles. He also moved closer to great rival Roger Federer with his 17th grand slam title (Federer stands on 20). Between the two, they’ve won the last six grand slam tournaments.

At his awe-inspiring best, Nadal won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 and barely gave Thiem any hope of winning a set let alone the match. The Austrian is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the last two years and was primed to push Nadal in his maiden slam final appearance. But, Nadal proved far too clinical to extend his head-to-head to 7-3.

Juan Martin del Potro, who Nadal beat in the semifinals, tweeted, “Writing incredible history each time. Congratulations for 11th title”

Spain football player Sergio Ramos tweeted, “Dynasty on clay, legend in tennis, hero in sport.” While another Spain football player Alvaro Morata tweeted, “Out of words to describe what you do day by day, year by year. You’re a legend, an example on and off the field.”

“It’s amazing now, I can’t describe my feelings,” Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory. “It’s not even a dream to win here 11 times, because its impossible to think of something like this.”