When the trainer visited Nadal in his quarterfinal for a similar issue, Nadal said it was simply to prevent sweat from traveling to his hand. "But in the end, it was not too hard".
Later when Nadal had lost in Madrid Masters to Thiem, he was once again crowned the number one only to be snatched away by the Spaniard following his victory at Rome Masters.
Thirteen years and 17 Grand Slam titles along, with Nadal aged 32 years and one week, still, nobody has ever said anything any truer.
No stranger to rewriting the record books along with his friendly rival, Roger Federer, here is another feat for the Spaniard: He joined Margaret Court in becoming the only tennis players in history to win the same grand slam 11 times. The two stars have combined to win the past six Slams.
"Physically I enjoyed more watching him on the couch", smiled Thiem, who was 11 years old when Nadal won his first French Open in 2005.
At the Slam before that, the U.S. Open last September, Nadal was the last man standing.
German footballer Mario Gotze - who is not in Russian Federation with the national team but who scored the winning goal for his team in the final in Brazil four years ago - also paid tribute to Nadal.
Against many other opponents - maybe any other - Thiem would have made things interesting.
At 4-4 Nadal hit a second serve that bounced before it reached the net, but he shrugged that off to hold.
"The rallies are short, a few points decide them". Nadal appeared to take more tablets.
Over the best-of-five sets on clay, Nadal improved to 111-2 - it is a figure nearly as imposing as the nearby Eiffel Tower - his lone reverses coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 at the French Open.
By then, Nadal was finding his spots. Of those 20, the Spaniard only won one by hitting a victor.
The punishment continued, with Thiem by now looking up to his coach and shrugging as another forehand whistled past him.
It was a cloudy and steamy afternoon, with the temperature at 77 degrees (24 Celsius) and the humidity approaching 70 percent. Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him. Those conditions might have contributed to the cramping that affected Nadal about two hours into the final, at 2-1 in the third set.
His uncle thought wrapping around Nadal's left forearm was too tight.
"He's very aggressive, with big shots", Nadal said in halting French before switching to English.
Shortly after, he'd be holding the silver trophy, the one he knows so well, and crying. When a return went long on a fifth match point, Nadal raised his arms in joy.
Last year's US Open runner-up won his first title since 2015 in NY earlier this season, and having now broken into the world's top-10, has improved his chances of deep runs at the majors. It added more voices by the time 2008 rolled around.
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But as the Spaniard struggled to win points on his first serve, he was broken again for 5-4 and Schwartzman served for the set. Schwartzman compiled a 20-4 edge in winners for the set, closing it with a forehand that landed right at the baseline.
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