Words of Dominic Thiem are enough to picture Rafael Nadal’s domination in today’s finals of the French Open.
“I gave everything I had,” said the Austrian player, who managed to take only one set against the undisputed ruler of clay surface and Roland Garros. And that was it, one set.
Rafa won his 12th title in Paris, improving his personal best, and tournament record. It took him a little bit more than three hours and four sets played to do so. The final result was 3-1, 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.
With 33 years of age, he became the third-oldest champion here, behind Andres Gimeno in 1972 and Ken Rosewell in 1968. Nadal recalled his first appearance 14 years ago, in 2005, saying that back then he never believed that he would end up playing at Philippe Chatrier almost decade and a half later.
“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 didn’t have too many troubles in the finals. After two opening sets in which Thiem resisted, the Spaniard located his weak spots and caught his characteristic rhythm, which demolishes the opponent.
We saw good tennis in the opening set, with both players were playing excellent. Surprisingly, it was the Austrian who won the first break point, but Nadal answered already in the next game taking his serve back. Thiem was near doing the same thing immediately afterward, but failed to use his break point chances.
Nadal’s morale exploded, and he took the first sequence by breaking Thiem’s serve for 6-3.
The next set was a bit different, and there wasn’t that much excitement. Players were confident when serving, and there wasn’t any room for mistakes. It was the 12th game when Nadal made a few, and Thiem exploited them. The world No.4 won that game, clinching the set, 7-5.
What happened after that was pretty much a massacre. It might be harsh to say something like that, but all of those who watched the match will agree upon that. Nadal was harassing Thiem in all aspects of the game, not allowing for his challenger to have the slightest chance to catch some breath.
Spaniard’s approach was ruthless, and he looked very angry because of the lost set. Until the end of the event, he allowed Thiem to win only two games.
At the trophy ceremony, Nadal congratulated his rival, expressing his hope that Thiem wins Roland Garros in the future.
“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.”
— ITV Sport (@ITVSport) June 9, 2019
This was Nadal’s 12th French Open. His record in Paris is 93-2, losing only against Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic. At the moment he is the second-best when looking at all Grand Slam titles with 18 of them, two fewer than Roger Federer and three more than his biggest rival Novak Djokovic.
With 33 years, and excellent physical shape, Nadal should be active for at least three more seasons, which will give him enough time to attack Federer’s throne. Though, he will have Djokovic against him on that quest, and also, a couple of young, hungry lions who are eager to reach some silverware.
Rafa will stay second in the ATP rankings with 7.495 points, behind Novak who has 12.715.
The next stop for all the players will be Wimbledon. The tournament at the Old England Club starts on2nd of July, and things will be much different there than in France.
Djokovic is defending the title.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.