Rafael Nadal happy to continue his Roland Garros love story

Rafael Nadal won his 11th Roland Garros title on Sunday and then admitted that it gives him “confidence to keep going”.

The Spaniard was too good for Dominic Thiem in the final as he beat the Austrian 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to take his Grand Slam tally to 17, three behind his great rival Roger Federer.

“Since the first time that I came here until today is a love story with this event,” he said.

He added: “What really matters for me is have this trophy again with me. That means a lot. As everybody knows, for me this is the most important tournament of the year. Roland-Garros is always on the calendar and a special date.

“So winning here after having the clay-court season that I had is emotional and that gives me calm and confidence to keep going.”

Nadal arrived in Paris as the clear favourite to win the title and he admits he has already achieved more than he could have hoped for over the course of his career.

However, winning No 11 was still incredibly special, especially after his injury problems at the backend of the 2017 season and after this year’s Australian Open.

“For me it’s difficult to explain because it becomes a little bit natural. Yes, is true that in my career, I achieved much more than what I ever dreamed,” he said. “But on the other hand, it’s true that I went through tough moments, a lot of times in terms of injuries.

“So I arrived so-so, with some doubts with this clay-court season. Personally for me is amazing. I’m very emotional, coming back from this almost five months without playing a full tournament since Shanghai last year.

“So coming back and having the chance to win in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here it’s very emotional for me.”