Nadal beats Thiem to claim record-stretching 12th French Open title

Nadal beats Thiem to claim record-stretching 12th French Open title

Nadal beats Thiem to claim record-stretching 12th French Open title

Rafael Nadal pulled away in what had suddenly become a tight final to beat Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 Sunday for his record-extending 12th French Open championship.

The finals match between Nadal and Thiem is set to begin at 9 a.m. Nadal will have had a over 36 hours of rest in advance of his title defense, whereas it will be the fourth straight day Thiem has had to play tennis.

It snapped Djokovic's 26-match winning streak in Grand Slams and ended the Serbian's hopes of holding all four of the sport's major prizes simultaneously for the second time, having achieved it by winning his only French Open in 2016.

Men's semifinal: No. 4 Dominic Thiem beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.

The Spaniard, who now has 18 majors to his name, also becomes the first player to win the same Grand Slam title 12 times, going past Margaret Court's 11 Australian Open titles.

Dominic Thiem has evened the French Open final against Rafael Nadal at one set apiece.

The 33-year-old Spaniard becomes the first player, man or woman, to win the same Slam 12 times after seeing off a fearless challenge from a tired Thiem in a repeat of 2018 final.

It's Nadal's 18th Grand Slam title, moving him within two of Roger Federer's record for men.

Later Saturday in the women's final, Ashleigh Barty defeated Marketa Vondrousova, an unseeded 19-year-old from the Czech Republic, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

By contrast Thiem, who he whitewashed in the final a year ago dropping just nine games, was coming off the back of a marathon match against Novak Djokovic.

He got himself back together to hold for 6-5, and then forced a third match point against Djokovic, which he sealed by drilling a final forehand victor.

Austrian fourth seed Thiem, his victim in last year's final, has enjoyed none of those advantages, needing two weather-disrupted days and five sets to get rid of world number one Novak Djokovic in the other semi-final.

The "King of Clay", Nadal has not lost in Roland Garros final and he feels "incredible" about reaching this stage once again. Having only dropped one set against Belgian David Goffin in the third round, he has also spent roughly two hours less on court compared to Thiem. When I first played here in 2005 I never thought I would be still playing here in 2019.

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