Federer wary of slim margins on grasscourt return

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

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 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.

"I never have been insane about all this kind of stuff", said Nadal.

Rafael Nadal had seen off the rest of the field to stand on the brink of an 11th French Open title - so he was not going to let a badly cramping arm stop him.

Nadal has not lost at Roland Garros when taking the first set and that record did not look like coming under threat as he continually rebuffed Thiem's attempts to make inroads into his serve, taking the second courtesy of an early break.

Nadal's victory on Sunday meant that all past six Grand Slam titles have been won by either Federer or himself.

Nadal finished another break in the third game to move in front, while injuring his left middle finger midway through the fourth game.

Despite this, Nadal has insisted he is not actively pursuing his grand slam rival. I was very scared but that's sport, it was very humid.

Just as happy fishing or playing golf in Mallorca, Nadal is ruthless on the tennis court but disarmingly humble off it. His form is compared to years past and the passage of time is made tangible on his birthday, which falls during the tournament every year.

Thiem, though, knows he isn't the only player to have succumbed to Nadal at the French Open.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday's match, it was this: Thiem beat Nadal in two sets on red clay at Rome in May 2017 and again at Madrid last month.

"Physically, I enjoyed (it) more watching him on the couch", Thiem said with a smile.

"It's unfortunate and I think Serena must get a lot of credit (for trying) to come and do that", he said. "It was just bad misses", said Thiem. 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.

"You can't be frustrated always if somebody has more money than you, if somebody has a bigger house than you, if somebody has more grand slams than you".

I added one more grand slam - 17 is an fantastic number.

But, while you expect finance is a factor in a potential decision to pursue an even more lucrative deal away from Nike, it feels like there is more to this than meets the eye.

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