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Dominic Thiem remembers sitting in front of a TV to follow along as Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam final debut and won his first French Open title back in 2005.

The Austrian - competing in his first grand slam final after a pair of semifinal showings in Paris - needed to win the first set to have any realistic opportunity of ending Nadal's reign.

"I've never been insane about this kind of stuff. But I can't always be thinking of more", he said.

"You can't live with this feeling. Of course, I have ambition, I have passion for what I am doing, but I never have been insane about all this kind of stuff", Nadal told a news conference.

Rafael Nadal produced the inevitable on Sunday evening (June 10).

He missed the North America hardcourt season and only returned in time for the European claycourt season.

The clay courts of Roland Garros host the second Grand Slam of the season.

The tears that welled up when Nadal received the Coupe des Mousquetaires from Australian great Ken Rosewall showed just how much he still cares.

During the match, Nadal's hand cramped up, which brought a lot of zoomed-in images of his most expensive piece of equipment, his watch. "I know I've had an incredible career so I want to keep fighting for these things".

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

"So I am not much anxious about the future". "It was very important".

Next on the campaign trail for Nadal is Wimbledon where he was a two-time champion in 2008 and 2010. Yet Nadal also knows he could be a threat after playing impressively a year ago before falling in the last 16, losing a classic tussle against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

Less than an hour after the match was completed, demolition workers began to smash up Court Philippe Chatrier, part of the continuing redevelopment that will lead to a roof being in place over the stadium court in two years' time.

"The fact that I could be No. 1 in the world previous year gave me confidence and gave me, like, a little bit of relief, because I touched something, something big, something huge", Halep said, "and I just had in my mind to win a Grand Slam after that". He is entered into the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club, starting a week today.

"It is a drastic change from clay to grass".

Former professional tennis players Greg Rusedski and Annabel Croft have questioned the tournament officials for allowing Rafa to get treatment for cramps in the middle of the match.

"But it's time to check how I feel in the next couple of days".

The 32-year-old later admitted that he was "very, very scared" when the middle finger of his left hand seized up during the final in Paris.


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