Rafael Nadal becomes the second player to win 11 titles at any Grand Slam tournament
What’s the story?
With his triumph over Dominic Thiem at the French Open in Paris on Sunday, Rafael Nadal became the first man ever and the second player overall to win 11 titles at the same Grand Slam. Margaret Court is the only other player ever to achieve this feat. She had emerged victorious at the Australian Open from 1960-66, 1969-71 and in 1973.
Martina Navratilova is the third player to win such a staggering number of titles as well, although she did so at a non-Major tournament. The former World No. 1 captured the Eastbourne International in 1978, 1982-86, 1988-91 and 1993.
In case you didn’t know
The only difference between Nadal and the likes of Court and Navratilova is that he also got an 11-title haul at two other tournaments before his landmark win at Roland Garros. The 17-time Grand Slam champion earlier completed the first two of his ‘La Undecima’ at the Monte Carlo Masters and at the Barcelona Open earlier in the season.
And with his Paris victory, he became the first player in the Open Era to win 11 titles at three different tournaments.
The heart of the matter
Thiem has been the only player to stop Nadal from an unblemished clay sweep for two consecutive seasons. Even in their last meeting at the Madrid Open quarter-finals, the Austrian got the better of the Spaniard.
However, on the day of the French Open final, the southpaw proved once again that he becomes an insurmountable barrier when it comes to best-of-five matches. The Austrian managed to earn just one break of serve in the 2 hours 42 minutes clash on Sunday, before Nadal laid his hands on the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy for a record 11th time.
Nadal is expected to hone his grasscourt skills at the Fever-Tree Championships, formerly known as the Queen's Club Championships, scheduled to be held from June 18-24. However, the 2008 champion has expressed doubts over his participation at the tournament after the hectic clay season and will take a decision in the next few days.
Do you want Nadal to play a full grass season or would you prefer him to rest and recover after the hectic clay season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.