KING OF THE CLAY

Rafael Nadal Beats Dominic Thiem to Win His 11th French Open

Rafael Nadal on Sunday cemented his ranking as the world’s No. 1 tennis star with his 11th French Open win, defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Nadal faced off against Thiem after the latter had bested him on the clay twice in recent years, once in Rome in 2017 and again in Madrid last month. With Sunday’s match, however, 32-year-old Nadal proved he’s still the “King of the Clay,” telling 24-year-old Thiem afterward, “I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years.” Nadal admitted after the match that he’d been “very scared” after a brief scare in the third set, when he had to take a medical time-out to deal with a cramp in his finger. But he came back stronger than ever to claim his 17th Grand Slam title overall, edging him closer to the 20 owned by Roger Federer. After raising his arms in triumph to the booming sound of applause, Nadal said the victory was “not even a dream.”