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French Open Diary: Zidane watches Nadal demolition job before builders start work at Roland Garros

The crowd witnessed a flyby to mark the 100-year anniversary of the death of Roland Garros

Paris, June 11: Zinedine Zidane watched Rafael Nadal crush Dominic Thiem to win an 11th French Open title before another demolition job started at Roland Garros on Sunday (June 10).

Winning again is something almost impossible - Nadal

Zidane stepped down as Real Madrid coach last month after masterminding a third successive Champions League triumph for the Spanish giants.

The legendary France star was there to see Nadal claim an unprecedented 11th title in Paris and a 17th grand slam crown.

There were hard hats all round for journalists after Nadal had taken Thiem apart as the builders prepared to knock down the majority of the main show court.

Catch up with what happened on the final day of what has been another magnificent fortnight in Paris in the daily diary.

ZIDANE WITNESSES ANOTHER SPORTING GENIUS

There were roars from a packed crowd when the cameras picked out France legend Zidane during a one-sided major showdown.

The former France midfielder was a great entertainer during his playing days and he would have appreciated the brilliance of Nadal.

Nadal spoke of his disappointment at Zidane's decision to quit the European champions, but said he earned the right to do whatever he wants.

Spaniard Nadal earned the right to do whatever he wants at Roland Garros long ago.

HARD HATS DISHED OUT FOR 'DEMOLITION PARTY'

They wasted no time with the huge redevelopment job at the most prestigious clay-court event of all.

Hard hats were being dished out to journalists for a 'demolition party' soon after Nadal had taken down Thiem.

Roland Garros is in the midst of a massive transformation due for completion in 2020 and more work will start a matter of hours after Nadal lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires yet again.

Eighty per cent of Court Philippe-Chatrier will be demolished and rebuilt in a job which will eventually see a retractable roof on the main court in two years' time.

FLYOVER BEFORE NADAL HITS NEW HEIGHTS

There was a spectacular flyby to mark the 100-year anniversary of the death of Roland Garros.

Tricolor smoke filled the sky behind a patrol of four Mirage 2000-5 jets and a hunting group of 1/2 "Storks - the oldest unit French fighter jet and one of the most prestigious.

There was also a transfer of the flame from the Arc de Triomphe to the famous tennis venue named after the famous aviator and hero of the First World War 100 years after his passing.

It was then over to Nadal to turn on the afterburners.

VETERAN FRENCH LEGENDS DOMINATE

It has not been a good tournament for the French in the singles competitions, but legends and more youthful players have experienced doubles glory.

Nathalie Dechy and Amelie Mauresmo won the women's legends title on Saturday before Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hughes Herbert were crowned men's champions.

There was more success on the final day, Mansour Bahrami and the charismatic Fabrice Santoro taking the men's over-45 title at the expense of John McEnroe and Cedric Pioline.

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Monday, June 11, 2018, 1:30 [IST]
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