Jim Courier believes Rafael Nadal broke the rules during French Open final

Jim Courier believes Rafael Nadal broke the rules during French Open final

Grant and Eberstein's outing to the home of French tennis to watch Nadal's latest clay court triumph followed the pair's recent visit to the high-speed glitz and grandeur of the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of last month.

Having also beaten him in Rome last year, he is the only man to defeat Nadal on clay in the past two years, and the way he had played on the way to the final threatened to make it a classic match.

Rafael Nadal insists that he has no desire to become locked into an arms race with Roger Federer to surpass his great rival's 20 Grand Slam titles. I had a long and mentally tough clay court season, of course, because I played nearly all the matches possible after coming from an injury. "For me every tournament is important and I feel that if I don't treat every tournament with 100 per cent focus I will not be ready for the Grand Slams", explains Halep.

"Earlier in the tournament during (Robin) Haase against (David) Goffin they said "no you're not allowed any treatment, you have got to get on and play with it".

The number of consecutive sets won on clay by Nadal, breaking the previous record for most consecutive sets won on a single surface by McEnroe, who won 49 on carpet in 1984.

Thiem already suffered four double faults despite four aces at the start of the second set, while Nadal maintained all of his serves in the second set to move a step further at 6-3.

The point was reiterated by Croft, who said that she was shocked to see Nadal get treatment for cramps.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1.

The Spaniard admitted he was "scared" when, in the third set of a one-sided final against Dominic Thiem, he had to stop mid-game and call for the trainer.

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But beating an imperious Nadal at his favourite slam was too big an ask for the 24-year-old. That did not stop him from taking the sixth game after some treatment.

Spain's Rafael Nadal was down a set and a break against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals.

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria's Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before.

Thiem saved a first breakpoint in that game but couldn't save the second, hitting a forehand wide.

Nadal had 12 unforced errors.

Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay. The two stars have combined to win the past six majors.

Less than an hour after the match was completed, demolition workers began to smash up Court Philippe Chatrier, part of the continuing redevelopment that will lead to a roof being in place over the stadium court in two years' time.

Only Nadal, Pete Sampras and Ken Rosewall have managed the feat of winning Grand Slam titles in their teens, 20s and 30s.

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