Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 6-2, to secure a record-extending 11th French Open title at Roland Garros.
Austria’s seventh seed Thiem strained every sinew trying to cling on to the Spaniard and at times even gained a precarious foothold in his first Grand Slam final.
But it ultimately proved a futile mission as, just like in all but two of Nadal’s previous 87 matches here, the Spaniard proved invincible, winning in two hours and 44 minutes.
Nadal struck first in an enthralling opening set, breaking Thiem’s first service game to take a two-game lead but they were back on serve immediately as the Austrian hit back.
However, the 32-year-old remained in the ascendancy and passed up a further three break points before claiming the decisive break in the 10th game to take a one-set lead.
Nadal retained the momentum in the second set, breaking his opponent in the second game and holding out to edge closer to yet another title at Roland Garros.
The 16-time Grand Slam appeared to be coasting in the third, but a break up at 2-1, the Spaniard began to struggle with what appeared to be cramp in his middle finger.
The trainer was called at 30-0 and his intervention appeared to alleviate Nadal’s discomfort, who regained his composure, held his serve and then managed to break again in the sixth game before holding out for his 17th Grand Slam title.
“It’s amazing now, I can’t describe my feelings,” Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court.
Nadal saluted his 24-year-old opponent, who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay over the past two seasons.
“He’s very aggressive, with big shots,” Nadal said.
“I want to say well played to Dominic. He played a great two weeks. He’s a good friend, one of these players that the tour needs. I am sure you’ll win here in the next couple of years.”
Sunday’s result marks the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either Nadal or 20-times major champion Roger Federer.