PARIS -- Tennis' old guard just keeps getting better.
Following his 32nd birthday last Sunday, Nadal's victory is the seventh successive major title won by a man age 30 or over, currently the longest streak in the Open era.
You'd have to go back to Wimbledon 2016 for the last time a Grand Slam was won by a man under 30 (Andy Murray, 29).
Let's put that into perspective: The previous record for most consecutive majors won at 30 and over came in 1969, when Rod Laver did it by himself, completing the last calendar-year Grand Slam on the men's circuit.
Even crazier, since Stan Wawrinka's 2016 US Open victory, the past six Grand Slam titles have been shared by two players: Nadal and 36-year-old Roger Federer. The dominant duo have now won 37 Grand Slam titles between them (Federer 20, Nadal 17).
Lengthy injuries to close rivals, including Novak Djokovic and Murray, might have played a part, but you cannot deny both Nadal and Federer's supremacy at the big events.
And with Federer's return imminent for the grass swing, will the streak be extended in three weeks' time at Wimbledon? You'd be foolish to bet against it.
With his 11th French Open title, Rafael Nadal matches Margaret Court for the most major titles by a man or woman at a single event. pic.twitter.com/HHUyOZFBK9— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 10, 2018
Twitter reacts to the King of Clay
Here's what the sporting world had to say about Nadal's 11th Roland Garros title win:
The "KING OF CLAY" has now won incredible 11... https://t.co/VpT8HCDSFU— Jonas Bjorkman (@BjorkmanTennis) June 10, 2018
🏆 1 x Australian Open— Nicolas Kiefer (@Nicolas_Kiefer) June 10, 2018
🏆 11 x French Open
🏆 2 x Wimbledon
🏆 3 x US Open
So much respect for Rafa! Idol— Daria Gavrilova (@Daria_gav) June 10, 2018
👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/I7brUyQBQD— Katrina Adams 🦋 (@katadams68) June 10, 2018
The hard work and dedication it takes to win even one 🏆 is enormous. But to win 11 on clay at the same Arena is Legendary. Congratulations Amigo @RafaelNadal #RG18 #FrenchOpen pic.twitter.com/uY27Kcbksu— Leander Paes (@Leander) June 10, 2018
Rafa wins 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Roland https://t.co/1sBdLL9hEs many more as nobody looks like they can stop him?— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) June 10, 2018
Congratulations to the King of Clay on his 11th French Open( just sounds absurd ) title... majority of us tennis players are just happy to succeed long enough to play 11 times at @rolandgarros .. #incredible #RafaNadal #toughestslam— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) June 10, 2018
A slight scare
It wasn't all plain-sailing for Nadal in Sunday's final. Midway through the fourth game of the third set, while he was two sets and a break up, Nadal stopped before serving and moved towards the umpire's chair, signalling that he could not move his hand.
The men's champion later explained he had been suffering from cramps in his left finger, apparently not helped by constrictive bandaging to deal with sweating on his left arm.
Following his 11th French Open title win, Rafael Nadal described the left-hand issue he suffered during the third set as “not normal cramping”. The Spaniard walked back to his chair during the fourth game of set three and frantically started ripping off the bandages on his fingers and left forearm. “I needed to go there and to cut it, and to understand what's going on,” he said in press. “It was quick in that moment, and for me was scary, because I felt that I was not able to move the hand, the finger. I was not under control of my finger. When I take the bandage out, things improved.”
Mystic Brad ...
Could anyone predict Nadal's dominance at the French Open? Yes, our very own Brad Gilbert.
I remember when @bgtennisnation said on ESPN after Rafa won his first @rolandgarros title that he would win 10!!— Patrick McEnroe (@PatrickMcEnroe) June 10, 2018
I looked at him like he was crazy (he is). And now it has been proven Brad. You are wrong.
Rafa better than ever. Simply incroyable.
Waking up a champion
Newly crowned women's champion Simona Halep took time Sunday to pose for photographs with her new best friend.
The world No. 1, who beat Sloane Stephens in Saturday's final, clutched Coupe Suzanne Lenglen tightly and didn't let it out of her sight.
Halep also tweeted this message to her fans, summing up her first 24 hours as a Grand Slam winner.
Words can't describe how happy the last 24 hours have been for me. I've read so many messages & social media posts that've brought tears to my eyes that I can't thank you enough. Sorry for a few bumps along the way 🤷♀️🙄 but we finally got there!☺️💪 Lots of love, Simo ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Rzvs6fzN1Y— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) June 10, 2018
Celeb watch: Final edition
Court Philippe Chatrier played house to a who's who of the rich and famous during men's final day. Those spotted at Roland Garros included actors Hugh Grant, Woody Harrelson, Hilary Swank, Clive Owen, Tim Roth, Jean Dujardin, musician Roger Waters, and former Real Madrid manager and French international soccer star Zinedine Zidane.
Pic | Zidane with wife and French legends watching Roland Garros final between Nadal and Thiem pic.twitter.com/AInmpE0viy— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) June 10, 2018
Bottle it up
In Nadal's world, everything has to be perfect before a French Open final -- including how and where you position your drinks bottle.
A very cool look at all 10 previous covers of Spanish newspaper Marca the day after each of Nadal's previous 10 French Open titles. Wonder what they will have in store for tomorrow's edition?
Rafael Nadal through the years at Roland Garros. Marca front page day after each of his 10 French Open titles. pic.twitter.com/XK96FyHFBu— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) June 10, 2018
No. 6 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were victorious in Sunday's women's doubles final on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Czech pair saw off Japan's Makoto Ninomiya and Eri Hozumi 6-3, 6-3 in little over one hour to claim the title.
Following the conclusion of the final day at Roland Garros, the media were invited to "destroy" the current media center housed inside Court Philippe Chatrier.
The media center has been stationed there since 1988 but will be completely redeveloped as part of the structural changes throughout the grounds, due for completion in 2020.
Incredible scenes in the #RolandGarros media centre, where press have been invited to write on the walls as part of the 'Demolition Party'. The current media centre, inside Court Philippe Chatrier will be redeveloped as part of the structural changes throughout the grounds. pic.twitter.com/zc28AQNcBm— Robert Bartlett (@RobBartlettESPN) June 10, 2018
A fitting tribute
In the preamble to the men's final, the French Tennis Federation held a special tribute to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Roland Garros -- the World War I pilot and aviator who gave his name to the Paris grounds.
A flame was lit early Sunday morning at the Arc de Triomphe and walked to Court Philippe Chatrier by young members of both the Air Force and graduates from the French Tennis Stadium.
The ceremony, held on court, culminated with a flyover by the Patrouille de France and a tricolor smoke ribbon released over the grounds.
And finally ...
We'll leave you with this ... that's 11 titles for Nadal in Paris. He'll need new teeth soon, at this rate. Until next year, au revoir, Roland Garros!