Federer Reveals Desire To Play Nadal In French Open Ahead Of Comeback

Rafael Nadal into French Open finals against Dominic Thiem

Nadal's love affair with Roland Garros continued as the "King of Clay" registered a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

In his on-court speech after Nadal's 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory, the 24-year-old Thiem said: "I still remember when you won here the first time, 2005".

After the victory - which saw Nadal claim his 17th Grand Slam title in total, just three behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 - social media was quick to laud the 32-year-old's staggering achievement.

It was hard not to feel sympathy for Thiem, playing in his first Grand Slam final against a man who simply does not lose this particular battle.

The now 17-time grand slam champion Nadal had a brief medical scare in the final set, but after Thiem saved four match points, a long return settled the Court Philippe Chatrier contest after two hours and 42 minutes. He played a great two weeks.

Austria's Dominic Thiem wipes his face in the men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Rafael Nadal at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, June 10, 2018.

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The world No. 1 went up 40-0 during Thiem's first service of the third set.

Halep has lost in her two previous appearances at the French Open finals, in 2014 and 2017. Not much more of a daunting task than doing so against this particular opponent at the French Open, where Nadal is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall.

But he shook off the early nerves and broke back in the third game with forehand victor - pumping his fists in the direction of coach Gunter Bresnik. For a time, fans could nearly believe that Thiem would present a challenge in this match.

As if the task was not daunting enough for Thiem, the early signs were even more ominous. The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg.

Rafael Nadal lifted the French Open trophy for an 11th time Sunday - and this time without the guidance of Uncle Toni.

But while he wants to win more, Nadal is not eyeing off Federer's mark of 20 championships.

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Serving to stay in the match at 4-5, the Austrian allowed mistakes to creep into his game.

Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

Nadal spent several months away from the tour after sustaining an injury at this years Australian Open and could, like Federer, decide that his long-term interests are best-served by sparing his body further punishment.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set.

The Spaniard edged an intense opening set, tightening his grip in the second.

Halep could have been forgiven if she had chose to give up on her Grand Slam dream throughout this painful process.

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