Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

For the twelfth time in his career, Rafael Nadal sets the seal on La Coupe des Mousquetaires and the ‘King of Clay’ continues to reinvent himself on the clay surface. Dominic Thiem’s run to the finals makes him the only active male player under the age of 28 to reach the Grand Slam singles final. 

Rafa’s 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win over the new generation clay courter, Thiem makes him the only player in the history of the sport to hold twelve Roland-Garros titles and simultaneously he won his 950th match on the ATP tour.

The two men wearing the contrasting outfits got onboard on a Sunday afternoon in the quest their French Open 2019 title. A sunny day in Paris with all the ambiance being pleasant for tennis. Rafael Nadal opened the match for his twelfth crown in Paris and the backhand unforced error from Thiem aided the World Number two Spaniard to make an easy hold.

Rafael Nadal
Dominic Thiem

The Austrian continued to play his shots on Rafa’s backhand and that eventually blazed out the winners on the court. The match became appealing when the 25-year-old earned a break point while swinging like a pendulum on the volley and later converted it with a smash. However, within a blink of an eye Rafael Nadal compensated to his service game loss at 3-3. 

Thiem experienced a break of serve at 4-3 as his forehands went off the target and Rafa’s inside out forehand aided the Spaniard to take the lead. There was a drop in Thiem’s level of tennis and unforced errors from the Austrian’s end awarded the Rafael Nadal his first set. The Spaniard never lost at Roland-Garros match after winning his first set.

Both the men were playing some exceptional tennis in the second set and Dominic Thiem was accurate with his service games. At 6-5, Rafael Nadal came up with three wide consecutive forehands and that allowed the Austrian to become only active player aged under 30 to win a set in a Grand Slam singles final.

The third set turned out to be one-sided, and Dominic Thiem began with losing eleven consecutive points. Rafael Nadal swiftly responded to the bullet forehand from Thiem and then lead by 3-0 in the third set.

Despite the set being one-sided, the lefty Spaniard did not stop to display some amusing tennis to the spectators in the house. Thiem could hold one game to love but, Rafael Nadal was restless to lift his 12th crown on the Parisian terre-battue.

The two men continued to remorseless at the beginning of the fourth set, Thiem had opportunities to break the ‘King of Clay’ in the fourth set and continue to stay in the final, but being an ultimate clay courter that kept the 25-year-old Austrian away from dominating in the match and settled with a baguette in the fourth set to lift his 12th title in Paris and his 18th Grand Slam title. 

“The first thing I want to say is congrats to Dominic. I feel sorry because he deserves it here too and I hope he wins here in the future. He is a very hard worker. I want to wish him all the best for the future. It is incredible. I can’t explain what I have achieved and how I feel. It was a dream to play here for the first time in 2005. I never thought in 2019 I’d still be here. It’s an incredible moment and very special for me,” Rafael Nadal said on court.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal