Rafael Nadal: I thought I would have retired by now

Rafael Nadal: I thought I would have retired by now

Number one seed Nadal continued his dominance at a tournament he has made his own since 2005, claiming victory over 24-year-old Austrian challenger Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

No stranger to rewriting the record books along with his friendly rival, Roger Federer, here is another feat for the Spaniard: He joined Margaret Court in becoming the only tennis players in history to win the same grand slam 11 times.

The Spaniard had won all 10 of his previous Roland Garros finals and although Thiem was the only man to have beaten him on clay over the past two seasons, the Austrian never threatened the claycourt master on Sunday.

But Nadal roared into the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured his record 10th French Open crown in June a year ago, setting the stage for another title run in the Flushing Meadows fortnight at the US Open in September.

Ahead of his return to tennis action, Roger Federer revealed he would like to "have a battle" with Rafael Nadal once again at the French Open. "I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back".

"I was not able to move the hand, the finger", Nadal said.

"If you told seven or eight years ago that I will be here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are", he said.

Nadal has won six of his nine matches against Thiem, all of them coming on that famously hard red clay.

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It also reignited the debate over who is actually the greatest player of all time even though the two men have shared the last six majors between them.

While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition. Nadal, who had some shaky starts this year at Roland Garros, was well aware of the threat, and he was focused and ferocious from the start.

"I would like to once again have a battle against Nadal at Roland Garros", Federer explained.

"I am sure, " Nadal said after the match, "you will win here in the next couple of years".

"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body. I would tell you that's something nearly impossible, but here we are", Nadal told reporters.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates by kissing the trophy after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem. No, you can't be frustrated always if somebody has more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you.

"Let me enjoy this title". So was a demanding two months for me.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday's match, it was this: Thiem is the only person to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons, doing so at Rome in May 2017 and at Madrid last month.