Rafael Nadal secured his 12th French Open title by beating Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem in four sets on Sunday afternoon. The World No. 2 has now won for the third straight year at Roland Garros with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 victory over Thiem and his dominance since 2005 is absolutely stunning. The Austrian suffered his second Grand Slam final defeat after losing in three sets to Nadal in last year's final.
The King of Clay now has an impressive record of 93 wins and 2 defeats at the French Open as he has been unbeatable on clay for the last 14 years. The Spaniard became the first player, man or woman, to win any Slam 12 times surpassing Margaret Court’s 11 triumphs at the Australian Open and he has now won 18 majors overall.
The Spanish legend congratulated the World No. 4 on his performance and expressed his belief the Austrian will eventually win the title at Roland Garros.
“First thing I want to say: Dominic, sorry, you are one of the best examples we have on tour,” the 33-year-old said after his 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 win in three hours and one minute.
“You are one of the hardest workers and always with a smile on your face. That’s the most important thing. Thanks for being that great inspiration for me and a lot of small kids around the world. I know how tough it is to lose finals but that’s the sport. If I wanted to lose to someone, it’s with you because you deserve it. Keep going, you will win this for sure.”
Rafael Nadal reveals winning his 12th French Open title is very special after a hard year where he considered taking an extended break because of injury problems. The Spaniard has been hampered by injury problems over the past two seasons, pulling out of 10 tournaments last year because of a combination of hip, knee, stomach and ankle problems.
"I can't explain what I've achieved and how I feel. It's a dream.”
"To play 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."
Nadal’s record of 93-2, with 12 French Open titles to his name, arguably makes him one of the greatest sportsmen ever!