Thankfully for Nadal - less so for Thiem - he was able to finish the job and continue his remarkable domination at Roland Garros with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.
The 36-year-old Swiss, second in the ATP standings behind 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, has it all to play for this week at the hilltop Weissenhof club, where he lost a year ago in the first round to longtime friend and rival Tommy Haas.
As Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem warmed up before the French Open final, the booming voice of an announcer at Court Philippe Chatrier called out each player's bona fides.
Up in the stands, Nadal's uncle Toni, his former coach, was nervous, too, "because I thought maybe we can have a problem", he said.
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Thiem managed to break back, but it was the only blow he landed all afternoon.
Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win 11 titles at three different tournaments, having also completed La Undécima at Monte Carlo and Barcelona in April this year.
Nadal's welling eyes during the trophy ceremony provided a moment of vulnerability after a match that had very few of them, apart from a freaky interlude in the third set when Nadal abruptly stopped mid-service game with a disconcerted expression and left the baseline to request medical attention for a cramping left hand. The best bet is the under 2.5 sets. I am happy that other people have things, and I am very satisfied, and I feel very lucky with all the things that happened it me.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, briefed his South Korean, Japanese and Chinese counterparts on the Singapore summit. These are very threatening to North Korea, they always have been, but I've never heard a president say they're provocative.
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However, Reuters reported that Mr Kim would be leaving Singapore at 2pm tomorrow, citing a source involved in planning his visit. Singapore will spend about 20 million dollars to host the historic summit between Trump and Kim, Prime Minister Loong revealed.
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"I was really fighting and playing from the first to the last moment".
"I know how to play against him".
"I am sure", Nadal said after the match, "you will win here in the next couple of years".
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"Still, I'm disappointed, of course". "It was just awful misses".
"For sure, me, I'm confident that this was not my last Grand Slam final", Thiem said, "and that's my biggest goal: to get into the next one and then to do better than today".
Fast-forward almost two decades and Nike have been on court with the soon-to-be 37-year-old for every one of his record 20 Grand Slam successes and back catalogue of other glories, becoming synonymous with a sporting great who boasts the same kind of commercial power as Michael Jordan and his Air Jordan shoe and David Beckham and his long-term association with adidas.
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