Magnificent Nadal leaves Thiem's 'plan' in tatters

By Peter Thompson at Roland Garros 11 June 2018 190
Magnificent Nadal leaves Thiem's 'plan' in tatters

There were shrugs of disbelief from an exasperated Dominic Thiem in the first set and that became a familiar sight as he became the latest player to suffer at the hands of the incredible Rafael Nadal in a French Open final.

Thiem boldly stated that he had formulated a plan to try and dethrone the great Nadal after reaching his first grand slam decider.

Yet the Austrian again discovered that the best laid plans tend to go awry when faced with the daunting task of coming up against the domineering 'King of Clay' at Roland Garros.

Thiem needed to go back to the drawing board with his trademark one-handed backhand failing to fire and Nadal firing on all cylinders.

Nadal stood way back ready to pounce on the Thiem serve, unleashed a barrage of powerful groundstrokes, served with assurance and executed the odd delicate drop shot with skill of the highest order.

The gifted Thiem was the only player to beat the legendary Spaniard on clay both this season and last year, but defeating him on Court Philippe Chatrier is a different challenge altogether - as he knows all too well, having been beaten by Nadal at the semi-final stage last year and in the second round in 2014.

There was more than a sense of deja vu as Nadal charged around a famous sporting arena that he has made his own, marching to an unprecedented 11th title with a commanding 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.

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