Nadal beats Thiem to win record-stretching 12th French Open title

Tanya Simon
June 14, 2019

As Thiem would drop balls short, Nadal would pounce. The answers arrived swiftly.

The 33-year-old Nadal, who becomes the first player to win the same Grand Slam title 12 times, going past Margaret Court's 11 Australian Opens, now sits just two major titles behind his great foe and men's Grand Slam title record holder, 37-year-old Roger Federer. As much as I respect Roger, Rafa, Novak - who else? "The numbers are insane".

No one in tennis ever has won any major tournament that frequently.

Even the main Court Philippe Chatrier, where Rafael Nadal won his 12th French Open singles title on Sunday, was reconstructed in the past year.

"He had an unbelievable attitude in those bad moments, and that's what took him here today", said Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya, the 1998 French Open champion.

"I have been able to be very close to win another title there", Nadal, who was edged out by Novak Djokovic in an epic semi-final a year ago, told reporters in Paris.

Nadal, however, did not want to entertain any discussion of a pursuit of Federer. "It's very special for me".

"That is not good", six-time Grand Slam champion Becker said.

The "King of Clay" added another layer of mortar on Sunday by holding off Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, in what was a dazzler of a final. "Congrats Rafael Nadal on #12!" "I want to think that for Rafael, and he has to think that too". I feel sorry, he deserves it.

So, of course, does Nadal.

The only three players ahead of Nadal on that list would hypothetically be Federer (20 titles overall), Novak Djokovic of Serbia (15 titles overall) and Pete Sampras of the United States (14 titles overall).

"Mentally, I lost a little bit of energy, because I had too many issues in a row", he said.

"When you are constantly hit in the face", he said in Spanish, "you end up being hurt".

- Ashleigh Barty ended Australia's 46-year wait for a French Open singles title by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-3 in just 70 minutes. Rafa has more titles to win.

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It was the second time since 2016 that all French Open play was cancelled and third since 2000.

Thiem has beaten Nadal four times on clay, but Sunday was the first time in four meetings he had managed to take a set off the Spaniard at Roland Garros.

This one began on a cloudy afternoon, with the temperature in the low 60s and only a slight breeze.

Nadal responded straight away, incomes three destroy facets within the subsequent sport and taking the 2nd with a real forehand which fizzed previous Thiem. Each man claimed half.

Federer managed to outplay Nadal in the winners department although that proved not to be enough, spraying nearly 60 unforced errors and missing a chance to at least force the fifth set and push Rafa to the limits.

Rarely, if ever, has the best of the young guns Thiem struck the ball so firmly, or played with such objective and aggression.

"The first set has been so tough with high intensity and great points".

Nadal won 25 of 26 points on his serve before he was broken to cede the second set.

No man has done the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double since Nadal himself in 2010, when he picked up his second Wimbledon title, two years after his first.

But then Thiem wilted, and Nadal barged through the opening.

"One possibility was to stop for a while and recover my body". All Thiem could do was watch - and offer an appreciative thumbs-up.

"He improves and develops his game", Thiem said.

Soon enough, it was over.

Fifteen-time golf Major victor and former world No. 1 Tiger Woods tweeted: "The King of Clay does not like to share his wealth".

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