Rafael Nadal Extends His Reign With an 11th French Open Title

He was asked what he thought, really thought, in the locker room after the victory, and he explained that there were so many obligations — hands to shake, questions to answer — that it was hard to have much time to think. But he gave it a shot.

“Well, the answer is quite simple,” he said. “I think probably the same as you. That in the end — and I don’t like to say it myself — but it’s something that is really unique, something that you can’t dream of, winning 11 times the same tournament. But it happened, and as always I would like to thank life for giving me this opportunity. Many people work as much as I do or even more and haven’t had my luck. That being said, yes, winning 11 times here is a lot.

“I can’t tell you any more than that.”

It is all in that answer, really: the humility, the reluctant realism. There has been some luck: Who could have imagined that Novak Djokovic, who seemed to have Nadal’s number on clay for good in 2015 and 2016, would fade from prominence so quickly? But without Nadal’s humility and internal drive, he would never have been able to keep pushing himself; to keep doing the unglamorous work

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/10/sports/french-open-rafael-nadal-dominic-thiem.html

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