Nadal's incredible record in Paris now reads 86 wins and two defeats. But how about 15?
The Spaniard claimed his 11th Roland Garros title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Austria's Dominic Thiem on Sunday. "What you did and what you are doing is the most outstanding thing that any athlete can achieve in sport".
Nadal bagged his first French Open title in 2005 and has been unstoppable on clay ever since. "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. I was a little bit scared. Federer, who skipped the clay-court season, plans to play Wimbledon next month to chase No. 21.
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. "The watch keeps going always", Nadal said.
For most players, winning multiple Grand Slams, or even just one, is an unbelievable dream. You can't live with that feeling. You have to do your way.
"You have to do it your way and then you have to be happy with the things that are happening to you, because if you are looking next to you, you can be frustrated thinking that people have more things than you in general terms".
"I want to say well played to Dominic".
Tennis is lucky to have Nadal. Amazing! One of the best sportsman of all times.
It is that forthright modesty which endears Nadal to his legion of fans as is his respect for opponents, never forgetting to applaud every vanquished foe off court.
A break in the second set, two more in the third, and suddenly Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title. It added more voices by the time 2008 rolled around.
Shortly, he'd be holding the silver trophy, the one he knows so well, and crying.
Defeated world number two Andy Roddick to guide Spain to the Davis Cup title in 2004.
That's it. There is the history of the King of Clay's losses at the French Open.
Thiem's best results also have come on clay.
But that's the best-of-three sets and in different, faster conditions.
"It's fantastic, I can't describe my feelings because it's not even a dream to win here 11 times", said an emotional Nadal after the final. I didn't see much from the finals because I arrived here, warmed-up and played by myself.
Ken Rosewall, who won the title in 1953 and 1968, presented Nadal with the trophy.
Thiem started the match quite poorly. The two stars have combined to win the past six majors.
Rafa Nadal and Simona Halep needed strong French Open showings to hold onto their top rankings.
But he shook off the early nerves and broke back in the third game with forehand victor - pumping his fists in the direction of coach Gunter Bresnik.
Nadal had a brief moment of weakness in the first set, when the 24-year-old Austrian broke him in the third game. And now, the Spanish sample seems to be the favorite even on other surfaces. Overall the tally was a mere 58%.
Thiem dug in - especially in the roughly 13-minute sixth game - but he crumbled attempting to stay in the set, making four unforced errors.
"In general, it was - game wise - a good game". "It was just awful misses".
Thiem saved a first breakpoint in that game but couldn't save the second, hitting a forehand wide.
"I'm hoping I will be there [in contention at Wimbledon], but Roger Federer has obviously got a phenomenal record on grass", he said.
Courier accused Nadal of breaking the rules after suffering from cramp. When a return went long on a fifth match point, Nadal raised his arms in joy.
A trainer was called and he briefly inspected Nadal's left wrist. He continued to pummel his ground strokes to further inflict woe on Thiem.