For the second year running Federer opted against playing at the French Open to spare his knees, but will be favourite to win Wimbledon next month and re-establish a four Grand Slam gap over Nadal on the list of all-time collectors of major titles.
"Of course I have ambition". I am not much anxious about the future.
Sunday's win was Nadal's 17th major trophy, only putting him three behind Roger Federer. He is, after all, the only player to beat Nadal on red clay each of the past two seasons.
Looking at those statistics, it might be tempting to say that Nadal's triumph was never in doubt.
"You can't live with this feeling". You have to do your way.
'Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger in the future or even more, but being honest, is something that is not in my mind. "The watch keep going always".
That it was not was testimony to Nadal's level, which never wavered, despite everything Thiem threw at him.
After his record-extending 11th Roland Garros crown, what will be Rafael Nadal's career-end tally? Thiem got hold off that point quite easily serving the ball away and right to Nadal.
He pulled out of planned appearances in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami before returning at the start of April for Spain's Davis Cup tie against Germany.
I had to be very aggressive, he's a very hard opponent.
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"But having said that Rafa is 32 now, although not that he looks weaker or older, but throughout this tournament he has not looked his very best". What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me.
Thiem, playing in his first Grand Slam final, simply had few answers to Nadal's brilliance.
"The fact that I could be No. 1 in the world previous year gave me confidence and gave me, like, a little bit of relief, because I touched something, something big, something huge", Halep said, "and I just had in my mind to win a Grand Slam after that".
Cape Town - Rafael Nadal's 11th French Open victory on Sunday saw him break the $100 million barrier in career prize money.
However, he fell to a third successive straight-set defeat by the Spaniard at the French Open.
Nadal needed five match points in a tense final game, eventually completing the job when Thiem fired a backhand long.
As a result Nadal went three clear of Max Decugis as the most successful French Open champion in history with 11 titles at Roland Garros. I play for my happiness, and I know that I had already, yeah, an incredible career.
In contrast, there are eight women now younger than 28 who have been Grand Slam singles finalists.
German six-time Grand Slam victor Boris Becker: The legend continues.
Ramos is now in Russian Federation with the Spanish squad as they prepare for the World Cup, but took time out to tweet in Spanish, hailing Nadal for his "dynasty on clay", calling him a "tennis legend" and "sporting hero". Enhorabuena 11x victor Roland Garros.
A year later he exacted his revenge over the Swede, but this time in the final for his fifth Roland Garros title.