Rafael Nadal Wins 12th French Open Title By Beating Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in four sets to win an incredible 12th French Open title, and an 18th Grand Slam title for the Spaniard.

It' the 12th time Rafael Nadal has been in the final at Roland Garros and the 12th time he has won the French Open, after beating 2018 finalist Dominic Thiem for the second year in a row, this time in four sets.

After the match Nadal paid tribute to his opponent, saying, "First thing I want to say is congrats to Dominic. I feel sorry - he deserves it. He has absolute intensity and passion for this sport. He's such a hard worker. I wish him all the best for the future.

""I can't explain what I've achieved and how I feel. It's a dream. To play for the first time in 2005 - never thought in 2019 I'd still be here. It's an incredible moment and very special for me."

Nadal celebrates his victory on the clay. Image: PA Images
Nadal celebrates his victory on the clay. Image: PA Images

Even before the match today no men's player had won a single Grand Slam tournament more times than the Spaniard had won the French and he went into Sunday's match as the clear favourite.

As well as history Thiem was also facing the fact that he'd only finished his semi final on Saturday. Rain delays had delayed the end to his match with Novak Djokovic, which he won in five sets.

It was the Austrian though who drew first blood as he broke Nadal in fifth game of the first set to lead 3-2. However 17 time Grand Slam champion then won four games in a row to take the set 6-3.

Thiem worked hard but was no match for Nadal. Image: PA Images
Thiem worked hard but was no match for Nadal. Image: PA Images

Nadal was now even more of a favourite, if that were even possible, having never lost at Roland Garros having won the first set.

The second set was a much tighter affair and stayed with serve up to 5-5. Thiem then did something out of the Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer play book and broke to himself the instant chance to serve for the set.

The world number four did exactly that to take the second set and instantly mean he'd at least better the result in last year's final, which he lost in straight sets.

If Thiem thought that it signalled the start of a monumental victory then he was soon put back in his place as Nadal broke twice at the beginning of the third set to make it 4-0 before going on to take it 6-1 in just 28 minutes.

Once again the 33 year old started the fourth set in the mood to finish it early as he held serve to 15 before breaking at the first possible opportunity to take a 2-0 lead.

The world number two claimed the double break to make it 5-1 and then served out to win the match 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 and take his 12th French Open title.

Will anyone stop Nadal next year?

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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