Rafael Nadal was in control from start to finish as he defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to earn his 11th career French Open title on Sunday.
Nadal only dropped a single set over the course of the tournament, losing the first set against Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals before rallying to win the next three.
While the score suggested there was never a moment of doubt for Nadal on Sunday, There was one brief sign of trouble for the No. 1 player in the world. Having one the first two sets and already up a break in the third, Nadal found that the middle finger on his left hand was cramping badly.
That forced him to call on the trainer in the middle of a service game. And while he would go on to win without much trouble, Rafa admitted after the match that he had been concerned in the moment.
�It was not a normal cramping,� Nadal said after his win. �For me, [it] was scary. I was not able to move the hand, the finger�after a couple of minutes, I still had the same feeling.�
The injury timeout added some drama for fans, with even Nadal�s uncle Toni � his former coach � admitting after the fact that he was nervous. But Rafa lost just one more game the rest of the game, earning his latest major title in straight sets.
His opponent, the 24-year-old Dominic Thiem, still accomplished something by reaching his first career Grand Slam final. But he was in awe of what Nadal has done at Roland Garros, both this year and throughout his career.
�There is a reason why he won 11 times here,� Thiem said after the loss. �It�s definitely one of the best things somebody ever achieved in sport.�
Nadal has now captured 17 career Grand Slam titles, second only to his rival Roger Federer, who has 20. Federer sat out the entire clay-court season, but should be back on tour for the rest of the year, meaning the two legends could meet at Wimbledon or the US Open.
Halep Rallies for First Major� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��
In the women�s final on Saturday, Simona Halep of Romania captured her first Grand Slam title by coming back to defeat American Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Halep, who holds the No. 1 ranking in the world, found herself in deep trouble early, falling behind by break in the second set after having already dropped the first. But the 26-year-old was determined not to endure another heartbreaking loss after falling short twice in the French Open final � including last year against Jelena Ostapenko � and losing again in January at the Australian Open with the trophy on the line against Caroline Wozniacki.
�I just tried not to repeat the same as last year,� Halep told the crowd after the match. �I did everything I could.�
Halep and Nadal became the first pair of world No. 1 players to win the French Open in the same year since Jim Courier and Monica Seles did so in 1992.