Sunday, June 9, 2019

Nadal tops Thiem for 12th French Open title

Rafael Nadal practices at Indian Wells in March. Photo by Harjanto Sumali
   At least Dominic Thiem won a set.
   That in itself is an accomplishment against the King of Clay.
   Unfortunately for Thiem, he had almost nothing left after tying today's French Open final at one set apiece.
   In a rematch of last year's title match at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal defeated Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in Paris for his 12th French Open singles crown.
   "It's truly incredible," Nadal, who dominated Dominic 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in last year's French Open final, said of his success at Roland Garros in an on-court interview. "I cannot explain it."
   Thiem, seeded fourth, was playing for the fourth consecutive day because of rain that shuffled the schedule. Meanwhile, the second-seeded Nadal had played only once in the previous four days.
   "He stepped on me," said Thiem, a 25-year-old Austrian who was seeking his first major title. "The numbers are crazy. He's won it 12 times."
   Nadal broke Margaret Court's record of 11 Australian Open singles titles, seven of which came when only amateurs were allowed to play, and pulled within two of Roger Federer's mark of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles.
   Nadal, who turned 33 on Monday, also became the third-oldest French Open champion after 34-year-old Andres Gimeno (1972) and 33-year-old Ken Rosewall (1968).
   Against Thiem, Nadal improved to 9-4 overall, 8-4 on clay and 4-0 in the French Open.

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