Rafael Nadal
Spain's Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open title Sunday. In this picture, Nadal poses with the Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) after his victory over Austria's Dominic Thiem, after the men's singles final match, on day fifteen of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris, June 10, 2018. THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal won his 17th men’s singles Grand Slam title at Roland Garros on Sunday after demolishing Dominic Thiem in straight sets (6-4, 6-3, 6-2) in the French Open final.

It was the Spaniard’s 11th title on the dirt in Paris which only enforced his status as the greatest ever clay court player in the history of the game. Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros has been such that he has won 86 of the 88 matches he has played there.

Nadal’s only losses came at the hands of Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015. The 32-year-old has never lost a final at the French Open and his dominance in the last two years indicates he is likely to be in contention again next season.

Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg is the next best with six titles at Roland Garros, which makes Nadal’s feat all the more impressive. The Spaniard, however, downplayed his achievements and suggested that he was an “ordinary person” who had achieved a very difficult task.

"I would say that I am an ordinary person who has done something difficult or very difficult," Nadal said when asked about his stunning feat, as quoted by the Express.

The 17-time men’s singles Grand Slam winner also revealed one of the reasons he has been so successful on clay during his career. It is easy for someone of Nadal’s calibre to get complacent or take the result for granted ahead of a match, but the Spaniard revealed that he never underestimates his opponents.

Nadal insists that he always goes into a match with the knowledge that he could come out of it on the wrong side of the result. The awareness that he can be beaten is listed by the Spaniard as one of the key reasons for his success on his favorite surface.

"This is the reality; things happen from day-to-day. In most of the games I went out to play here in Paris, I went out onto the court thinking that I could win or I could lose and this is the truth.

"I have won 86 of the 88 games I have played, and maybe in 75 of those, I have gone out thinking that I could win or I could lose. I think this is part of the basis of my success,” the Spaniard added.

Nadal struggled with injuries at the start of the year and it was in April when the clay court season started that he played his first full tournament in 2018. He has since played five events without a break and hinted that he could take a breather after his triumph at Roland Garros.

The Spaniard was pencilled in to play at the Queen’s Club Tournament in London before heading to Wimbledon for the third Grand Slam of the year. But he has since revealed that he could skip both the events in order to give his body some rest ahead of the hard court events later in year.