I am not convinced the better player won tonight as Rafael Nadal hung on to his reputation as the King of Clay by taking home his 11th French Open title, leaving an erratic Dominic Thiem of Austria in disappointment after what looked like a meek surrender.
All credit to Nadal, nonetheless, as he made light of Thiem’s formidable strengths – drop-shot tricks, electrifying serves and ability to withstand long rallies – with astonishing winners.
Just that he was not convincing with the breakpoints he converted and the volleys that earned him points. Nadal was brilliant with his well-angled smashes (so was Thiem), undone by the occasional weak finishes that cost him points.
Luck was not often on Thiem’s side with double faults alternating with mind-blowing, 200+-km aces and returns failing him at crucial stages of the game.
That often left him seething against himself, with inaudible four-letter expressions, showing a poor temperament that is best kept under check as he progresses in the circuit.
There was not a single ace from Nadal in the match. That hardly mattered as he coasted to a straight-set win.
With the curtains having come down on Roland-Garros, sports fans await a football extravaganza with the World Cup set to unfold in a few days in Russia.
While the World Cup coverage is a part of my SingTel Mio TV subscription, I doubt it will be a daily fixture for me. I will certainly not miss key matches.