As he sat down in the French Open lounge on Saturday, Günter Bresnik, Dominic Thiem's coach, was asked about Thiem's upcoming French Open final against Rafael Nadal, the finest clay court tennis player of all time.
The world No 1's straight-sets victory over Austria's Dominic Thiem was his 17th Grand Slam crown, trailing only Roger Federer's 20-major tally.
If Thiem is, as he is widely regarded, the second best clay-court player in the world then he probably has a few more of these pummellings to look forward to at least until Nadal, 32, finally calls it a day. Thiem, who is the only man to beat Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, appeared for his first Grand Slam final.
This is the 11th French Open title and 17th Grand Slam for the Spaniard.
Federer was on the receiving end of another major defeat as Nadal landed his first Wimbledon title - 9-7 in the fifth set and in near-darkness. But after, the Spaniard was imperious.More news: Anthony Bourdain dead: French prosecutor confirms ‘no evidence of foul play’
"In the third set I noticed I had cramps in my left hand, I was scared because there was a lot of humidity", he explained in his post-match interview.
Nadal has won six of his nine matches against Thiem, all of them coming on that famously hard red clay.
Rafael Nadal won the French Open for the 11th time and one incident brought attention to his most expensive piece of equipment, his $725,000 (R9.4 million) Richard Mille watch.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. He cruised through to the final, losing just three sets on his way to the inevitability that is Nadal.
Umpire Damien Dumusois handed out one time-violation warning but never docked a first serve.More news: Kingdom Hearts 3 release date announced
Even this year, injury has continued to hound Nadal with a hip problem forcing him to quit his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic. There is not much more daunting of a task than doing so against Nadal at the French Open, where he is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall.
While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition.
"You can't be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, if somebody has a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you", said Nadal, who will be top seed at Wimbledon. You can't live with that feeling. Both losses came against Thiem.
"I have to come back to speak with my team", said Nadal, who pulled out of Queen's in 2016 -because of a serious wrist injury and past year because of exhaustion. For the past two years, Thiem has been threatening to encroach on Nadal's territory.
"I felt that I was not able to move the hand, the finger", he said.More news: How to Customize What Gmail’s Swipe Gestures Do
He is now entered to play the Queen's Club tournament next week.