The 36-year-old Swiss skipped the claycourt season, including the French Open, to concentrate on retaining his Wimbledon crown and kicks off his preparation on the German city's slick lawns.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who gave the clay-court season a miss to focus on the grass swing, has revealed that he felt "bored" during the last few weeks.

"To win 11 times here, it's fantastic and not something I ever dreamed of".

Over the best-of-five sets on clay in 13 years, Nadal improved to 111-2 - a figure nearly as imposing as the nearby Eiffel Tower - his lone reverses coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 at the French Open.


Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 77 degrees (24 Celsius), the humidity approached 70 percent.

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.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

"What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me".

Nadal's streak began at Roland Garros past year and was ended by Thiem, who beat the Spaniard in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. Nadal's introduction included a year-by-year accounting of every time he'd already won the French Open. "I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances".


Nadal moved, once again, to within three grand slams of the Swiss.

He said: "Let me enjoy this title". "I have ambition and passion for what I am doing. We're talking, we will see what happens", Federer said ahead of his first match at this week's Stuttgart Cup.

"I have never been insane about this kind of stuff, you can't always be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you, ' he said". You can't live with that feeling.

It was hard not to feel sympathy for Thiem, playing in his first grand slam final against a man who simply does not lose this particular battle.


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