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French Open Final, Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem, Highlights: As it Happened

News18.com | June 10, 2018, 9:53 PM IST
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Austrian Dominic Thiem faces arguably the biggest challenge in sport, overcoming Rafael Nadal on the Court Philippe Chatrier clay, if he is to join the Grand Slam winners' club on Sunday. Only two players have managed to beat Nadal at the French Open since he first bounded into Roland Garros in 2005 armed with a bulging left bicep, pirate pants and a pulverising brand of claycourt tennis the like of which had not been seen before. Thirteen years on and his record next to the Bois de Boulogne stands at an incredible 85 wins and two losses. An 86th win on Sunday will give the 32-year-old Spaniard an 11th French Open title -- a joint record for triumphs at a single Grand Slam along with Margaret Court who won 11 Australian Open trophies, albeit not all in the professional era. It looks a daunting mission for the 24-year-old Thiem but not necessarily an impossible one.
Catch all the live updates from the French Open 2018 Final.
Jun 10, 2018 9:26 pm (IST)

NADAL WINS FRENCH OPEN: Thiem starts with a wild shot on the baseline. That's a poor start to the game for the Austrian. He follows it up with a similar shot. That takes his unforced errors count to 40. Nadal is within touching distance of the title. And that's it,. Nadal has done it. He holds serve to win 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Jun 10, 2018 9:18 pm (IST)

Nadal breaks Thiem's serve once again. That means he will serving for the match and championship. This is superlative stuff. Thiem has been no match to Nadal and has suffered on the volley. Nadal in 5-2 up in the third set.

Jun 10, 2018 9:13 pm (IST)

Interestingly, Nadal is playing his shots from one side of the court. That means that Thiem is not returning well at all. Nadal pockets the game and it's 4-2. He is withing touching distance of lifting his 11th French Open Trophy. 

Jun 10, 2018 9:10 pm (IST)

Thiem has managed to win a game here. But maybe it too late now. Nadal would be looking to wrap up the match quickly here. The length of the rallies has reduced considerably. It's 3-2 in favour of Nadal still.

Jun 10, 2018 9:05 pm (IST)

There looks to something wrong with Nadal's left hand. He takes a medical time-out to address the issue. He is in visible pain, and is finding it hard even to grip the racket. This could be a bad news for him. But the Spaniard is a fighter. He holds his serve to lead 3-1 in the third set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:58 pm (IST)

Rafa is holding Thiem to side of the court, and then using his heavy forehand on the other side of the court to fox him. Nadal goes to the far side of the court to win another point. This is classic stuff. And Thiem engages in same old problem of committing an unforced error on the baseline. It's 2-2 at the moment in the second set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:49 pm (IST)

The problem for Thiem has been that he has been unable to break Nadal's serve. On one more occasion, he is made to toil hard by Nadal. But the Spainard win the game. It's 1-1 in the third set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:45 pm (IST)

And the third set begins. Both players engage in longest rally of the match — 20 shots, and Nadal wins that battle. While Thiem is looking to hit close to the baseline, Nadal is making the Austrian stretch on both sides of the court. That's posing problems for the latter.But somehow Thiem with his single-handed backhand puts pressure on Nadal to win the game. It's 1-0 for Thiem.  

Jun 10, 2018 8:35 pm (IST)

Nadal serves. The Spaniard takes the second set too. Thiem had no answers for Nadal's cross-court shots as well as the ones on the net. Thiem needs a miracle to win the match from here. Nadal leads 2-0. The match moves into the third set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:31 pm (IST)

Thiem is still alive in this set as he holds serve. He displayed some strong forheand shots that were winners. Nadal still has a comfortable lead of 5-3 in the second set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:24 pm (IST)

Thiem pulls a game back and holds his serve. But the big question is will, is this enough to win the set. Nadal is moving well on the court and hitting accurate shots down the baseline. Theim, in this set hasn't had many answers to Nadal's attack. He holds serve and makes it 5-2 in the second set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:15 pm (IST)

Nadal serves. But Thiem, for now is not getting his shots right on the baseline. That's hurting him at the moment. Some big serves from Nadal help him take a 4-1 lead in the second set.

Jun 10, 2018 8:06 pm (IST)

Thiem looks to make a comeback and serves really well to win the game. He fires an ace to win the first game in this set. it's 3-1 at the moment in favour of Nadal. 

Jun 10, 2018 8:06 pm (IST)

Thiem looks to make a comeback and serves really well to win the game. He fires an ace to win the first game in this set. it's 3-1 at the moment in favour of Nadal. 

Jun 10, 2018 8:03 pm (IST)

Nadal is now getting stronger and stronger. He is not giving much chances to Thiem to use his forehand to good effect. And Nadal is engaging more in cross-court rallies. Thiem is looking a little out of sorts in this set. It's 3-0 for Nadal. 

Jun 10, 2018 7:58 pm (IST)

Thiem is not serving well here. He has had four double faults in this match. He is giving a lot of room to Nadal to play blistering forehand shots. Nadal manages to break his serve. That's 2-0 for him. 

Jun 10, 2018 7:50 pm (IST)

Second set gets underway. Nadal to serve. last few points Thiem has been attempting cross-court shots, but that's just kissing the top of the net. He has made a few unforced errors in that fashion, in this match. And Nadal takes first game. It's 1-0 in the second set. 

Jun 10, 2018 7:41 pm (IST)

Thiem is looking to hit cross-court shots while Nadal looks to be playing the waiting game. Thiem, the inexperienced of the two, makes unforced errors to give the first set to Nadal. The Spaniard leads 1-0 in the match. 

Jun 10, 2018 7:37 pm (IST)

What a start to this final. Thiem fails to break Nadal's serve at this crucial juncture in the match. Now the Spaniard will bring his experience into play and look to pocket the set. It's advantage Nadal at the moment. It's 5-4 in the first set.

Jun 10, 2018 7:34 pm (IST)

This time Thiem holds serve. The young Austrian is showing a lot of heart here. Till now he has used his forehand to good effect and caught Nadal on the wrong side on some occasions. That's 4-4 in the first set. 

Jun 10, 2018 7:31 pm (IST)

Nadal holds serves again. Thiem didn't receive the serve very well and made unforced errors. That takes Nadal to a crucial 4-3 lead in the first set.

Jun 10, 2018 7:24 pm (IST)

Thiem trying to make an awkward angle for Nadal close to the baseline on his backhand. But in this bid makes an unforced error himself. Thiem does well to produce a blazing winner past Nadal's backhand. The Spaniard remains unmoved. The duo are battling it out, but aren't giving an inch to each other. After over 10 minutes the game gets over and Thiem holds serve. It's 3-3.

Jun 10, 2018 7:09 pm (IST)

Top shot from Nadal. After playing cross-court shot, Nadal just scoops the ball to the baseline. Thiem is caught unawares. Nadal closes this game rather quickly forcing Thiem into making unforced errors. This is the pressure of the final. Nadal in the lead again. It's 3-2 in the first set.

Jun 10, 2018 7:04 pm (IST)

Thiem is slowly getting into the match with his heavy forehands. He has already scored a couple of winner against Nadal, down the line. The key here would be to persist with this ploy. In this game Thiem made his opponent move to both the ends of the court, which made Nadal lose control over his shots. Thiem manages to make it 2-2.

Jun 10, 2018 6:56 pm (IST)

Thiem is clearly trying to engage in longer rallies with the world no 1. He is letting Nadal take charge, hoping that he will commit a mistake. That's a brilliant shot by Thiem on the wide of the court and Nadal couldn't reach the ball.  The ploy works for Thiem as he breaks Nadal's serve and open his account in the match. It's 2-1 in favour of Nadal.

Jun 10, 2018 6:50 pm (IST)

Thiem doesn't start the serve well. On one occasion Nadal returns wide on the court to Thiem, and then drops the ball close to the net. This is brilliant stuff from the Spaniard. Some more unforced errors from Thiem help Nadal take the second game too. That's 2-0 in favour of Nadal in the first set. 

Jun 10, 2018 6:45 pm (IST)

Thiem starts the game with a single-handed backhand that goes wide. Nadal capitalises on weak returns from the Austrian draws him into committing some unforced errors. Thiem fails to break the serve. It's 1-0 in the first set for Nadal.

Jun 10, 2018 6:42 pm (IST)

What should work in Thiem's favour is he knows how to tackle Nadal on clay. The 24-year-old has beaten the Spainiard on this surface three times already. And the match gets underway. Nadal to serve first.

Jun 10, 2018 6:38 pm (IST)

We are just minutes away from the start of the match as both players are on the court and are warming-up. The key to Thiem's success here will be play to play to his strength — forehand. The Austrian has managed to trouble some players with his smashing shots down the line. 

Jun 10, 2018 6:32 pm (IST)

The 32-year-old Nadal, with 16 majors to his name, will play his 24th Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. Victory here will give him an 11th title in Paris and equal Margaret Court's all-time record for wins at the same Slam event -- in her case, the Australian Open from 1960 and 1973. 

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