The King of Clay has done it again.
Rafael Nadal has won his 11th French Open title thanks to a straight-sets victory over Dominic Thiem.
This was the Austrian's first shot at a Grand Slam and his opponent's vast experience ultimately paid off despite his visible toil and hard work.
It finished 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, the result earning Nadal his 17th major title.
The 32-year-old is also the first man to win the same tournament 11 times, Margaret Court the only other tennis player in history to do so at the Australian Open.
Looking at those statistics, it might be tempting to say that Nadal's triumph was never in doubt.
That is not entirely the case, however, as although he breezed through the Open's first rounds, in several of those matches he started relatively slowly.
Becker had his doubts
Boris Becker was among his doubters, the German legend telling Eurosport before the final, per the Express:
“Admitting his mental composure was a bit fragile, but that is a chance for Thiem.
“Thiem has to believe. His first Grand Slam doesn’t come around every week so he had better make the most of it.
“Physically plays a big part today. It’s the best of five sets in humid conditions with maybe rain later on...A 24-year-old should be fitter than a 32-year-old.”
Thiem has beaten Nadal twice recently, so an upset was not out of the question.
In fact, Becker was backing him to pull off another shock by taking advantage of Nadal's age and his reduced performances in the earlier rounds.
“Rafael Nadal on Chatrier in the final of Roland Garros - no man has won this match," he added.
“But having said that Rafa is 32 now, although not that he looks weaker or older, but throughout this tournament he has not looked his very best.
“Rafael Nadal is at 75 percent, is that enough to beat Thiem? That is the question.”
Well, Nadal has answered that question now without too much trouble.
There are just three weeks to go until Wimbledon; with Andy Murray's participation in doubt and Novak Djokovic off form and nursing his elbow, Nadal will surely be up there with Roger Federer as the favourites for the biggest title of the year.News Now - Sport News