French Open 2019: Rafael Nadal Wins His 12th Title at Roland Garros

Dominic Thiem put up more of a fight than anyone has against Nadal in years at Roland Garros but it wasn't anywhere close to enough

Dominic Thiem put up more of a fight than anyone has against Nadal in years at Roland Garros but it wasn't anywhere close to enough

Since Nadal won his first title at Roland Garros in 2005, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin Del Potro are the only players to have broken the big three's dominance, and all have now passed their 30th birthdays. Marat Safin won his second major at the Australian Open in 2005 but that was before either Nadal or Djokovic had begun their count. Speaking about his injuries, he said: "I lost, I think, around 15 or even more Grand Slams in my career for injuries. The experience says that having the right preparation then, practicing well, and maybe a couple of matches, I don't know, before there". "I can not explain it", Nadal said after holding his 12th Coupe des Mousquetaires. Then what can happen in the future, we will see. Several sportspeople congratulated him on the incredible win. "Being honest, I am not very anxious about this stuff, no?" By that age the three players above him were already multiple Grand Slam champions.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are widely considered the three greatest male players to have picked up a racket, with 53 slam titles between them, and their powers do not appear to have diminished in their 30s. "I was very close to being in the quarterfinals, and a year ago I was one point away [from serving for a place in] that final".

"Rafa, well done. You are an wonderful champion and a legend in our sport". That's not the way I see life.

Nadal won at the All England Club in 2008 and 2010 but his record there since then has been mixed, although he did reach the semifinal past year. In 2018, I only played nine events and finished just seven of them.

Thiem would have felt confident going into the final having beaten Nadal on clay on his way to the title in Barcelona in April. I was feeling so happy, with such a good win, and today, of course, I lost. That's the most important thing. "I thank all the people who support me, my family, my team for their great support, which I need, which is necessary for me".

"While you watched Nadal, as he won from every angle nearly impossible balls, you had to ask if anyone has ever played as good as Dominic Thiem and so little was rewarded", wrote the British newspaper "Daily Telegraph" on Monday.

Nadal celebrates with ball kids in Paris
After Madrid and Barcelona, I was thinking about what I needed to do. "There has to be a reason why he's that successful". Djokovic demanded to know if there was an "extreme wind" rule before his match with Thiem was suspended for the night.

The 33-year-old is still in supreme form.

He said: "The first two sets were insane". 'But Nadal remains Nadal - and beating him on sand over three winning sets remains one of the biggest challenges across all sports. "Eternal legend of Roland Garros".

Nadal was riled by the insult.

Nadal made an instant recovery, scoring a break in the second game of the third set and making another good hold for a 3-0 lead when Roger sprayed a forehand error, with the Swiss finding himself with a lot of work to be done if he wanted to climb back on the scoreboard. "I enjoy playing here", said Nadal laconically, after he had greeted visitors to the last Open act on the Sunday afternoon before with his wonderful Spanish-tinged "Bonschu" (Bonjour).

Austrian Dominic Thiem, whom Nadal beat in Sunday's final, keeps his fourth place behind Switzerland's Roger Federer, who went down to the Spaniard in the last-four on his first appearance in Paris since 2015.

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