But Nadal showed no signs of slowing down his march to history.
Rafael Nadal roared to French Open title number 11 with a straight-sets demolition of Dominic Thiem.
To Thiem's credit, he played for broke in Sunday's final, going for winners.
The score may have looked rather routine but there was some drama in the third set when Nadal called for the trainer at 2-1, 30-0.
Nadal threw his arms skywards and turned to his entourage including coach and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni, who stood down from his coaching role a year ago after his nephew worn his 10th French crown.
Just 50 of the limited edition RM27-03s worn by Rafael Nadal were produced by luxury Swiss watch brand Richard Mille. But as Nadal's uncle, Toni Nadal, said shortly afterwards, "this is not normal".
"Probably because I had the bandage here [around his wrist], creates pressure that doesn't allow the right circulation". Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem. Even so, he remained utterly tenacious and focused during the rallies. Nadal and Thiem have met nine times - all of them on clay.
Understandable as it was, this decision only served to make him more passive. Nadal appeared to take more tablets.
But ultimately, a rested Federer is an irrepressible force at Wimbledon, just as Nadal is at Roland-Garros.
Thiem didn't think that loose game to end the first set was as crucial as it might seemed to everyone else. They did just that, becoming the first pair of ATP and WTA No. 1s to both win the title at Roland Garros since Jim Courier and Monica Seles in 1992.
The number of titles won by Nadal on clay, extending his lead at the top of the men's Open Era leaderboard, ahead of Vilas (49) and Austria's Thomas Muster (40).
"I didn't say anything to him [Dumusois]", said Thiem afterwards.
But at 4-5 Thiem's serve let him down badly, handing Nadal three set points.
Later, as the Spanish anthem played, he sobbed long and hard.
Nadal plans to return to Paris in 2019 and try and clinch a 12th title at Roland Garros. He's a good friend, one of these players the Tour needs.
But he remains philosophical about the rest of his career which has so far yielded 17 majors, 79 titles in total as well as more than $100 million in prize money. He turned philosopher when the question was raised. You can't live with that feeling. "You have to do it your way".
"I was really fighting and playing from the first to the last moment", Thiem said. He is entered into the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club, starting a week today. Throughout his 14 years competing here, Nadal has only lost two matches.