'I can't describe my feelings.
This historical analysis doesn't lend itself to fancying Thiem's chances of denying Nadal an 11th French Open title this afternoon, and neither did my model pricing either.
There was grunting and there was timewasting that was, again, overlooked by overgenerous umpiring, but ultimately there can be no arguing that he remains peerless when it comes to the brown dirt. Federer's record in Wimbledon finals is 8-3. In Madrid, Thiem said the key was to be positive against Nadal. And it was a seventeenth Major trophy overall.
Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did a year ago, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title. I can't see past another Nadal victory but believe Thiem will take a set off the great man. Thiem withstood a barrage of break points to hold in a marathon sixth game, which he thought he had won at 40-30 when he left a wide ball, only for the umpire to overrule the line judge. "It's the same old refrain with Rafael Nadal but there's two things I keep on hearing in analysis about beating him".
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Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is in the crowd enjoying a close-fought French Open final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. Only in the seventh game did he get a warning from umpire Damien Dumusois, another example of weak officiating playing into his hands.
Nadal is so dominant and so impervious on clay, in general, and at this tournament, especially, it made sense for Thiem to go for broke as much as possible, accepting that there would be risks along with the rewards. Its neck-in-neck in the first game. The Argentine ended Nadal's run of 37 consecutive sets in a rain-delayed quarter-final before the Spaniard won the contest upon the resumption on Thursday under glorious blue skies.
At 2-1 in the fourth set, Nadal stopped serving during a game because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger.