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French Open 2019 Final Highlights: Rafael Nadal is King of Clay Again, Beats Thiem to Win Record 12th Roland Garros Title

News18.com | June 9, 2019, 10:49 PM IST
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Rafael Nadal wins French Open 2019 to become the first man or woman to win 12 titles at a single event. Nadal beats Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to win the Roland Garros title for the third year in a row. For the second straight year, Dominic Thiem has to settle for the title of a runners-up.

The last two sets were the epitome of what Nadal has done on this court year after year. He absolutely thrashed Thiem, letting the Austrian take only two games as he romped off to victory. After losing the second set, it was like the Spanish bull was enraged and he didn't want to give another inch to Thiem. He roared and jumped and launched those spinny forehands to outclass Thiem.
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Jun 9, 2019 10:07 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem pose with their trophies for the camera and the Spaniard revels in the incredible record that he has just achieved. Nadal now has a dozen of these French Open trophies, let that sink in.

Jun 9, 2019 10:04 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal's words of praise for Dominic Thiem | "Dominic, you are an example on the tour. Very hard working and always smiling, one of the best people we have. Thanks for being a great inspiration for me and for a lot of kids out there. I know how it is to lose a final but it is our sport and if I have to lose to anybody it will be you. Keep going, you will win it one day."

Jun 9, 2019 10:03 pm (IST)

What Dominic Thiem Said After the Final | "It's very tough right now because I gave absolutely everything. I love this tournament with all my heart, the people here with all my heart.

Rafa, well done. Of course I am sad to lose but you are a legend of our sport and it's unreal. I will try next year again for sure (chuckles). Congrats to your team, there are some really nice guys there.

To my team, big thanks. So many people coming, friends and family, it means a lot to me. I hope you're here when may be I win a title here (holds back tears).

I'm truly looking forward to next year already. It's sad but it's the truth. Well done, Rafa."

Jun 9, 2019 9:58 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem has been visibly upset and down for the whole time after the match. He has forced himself to smile a bit as he collected the runners-up trophy for the second year running. And the wait for a first Grand Slam title continues for the Austrian.

Jun 9, 2019 9:51 pm (IST)

What Rafael Nadal Said After Winning French Open 2019 | "Congrats to Dominic. I feel sorry for him as he deserves to win here. I hope he is able to win here because he has the intensity and the game.

"It's incredible, it's a dream (to win here for the 12th time). It's a very special moment for me."

Jun 9, 2019 9:47 pm (IST)

The King of Clay triumphs once again! Rafael Nadal becomes the first tennis player to win a single event 12 times as he defeats Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Thiem gave it his all today but it was just not enough against the Spanish bull.

The commentators say - "Rafael Nadal 12 French Open titles record will never be touched in the history of our sport".

Jun 9, 2019 9:40 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal Breaks Dominic Thiem Again | That's almost sad for Dominic Thiem. He was so good early in the match but he has absolutely wilted under pressure in the last two sets, throwing one unforced error after another. Perhaps, his body is giving away now.

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 5-1. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 9:32 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal holds his serve once again to inch closer to his 12th French Open title. This is now looking like a routine win for Nadal. He has found another gear in the match and has absolutely shaken Dominic Thiem with that extra bit of intensity or aggressiveness.

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 4-1. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 9:27 pm (IST)

Is this what turns it around for Dominic Thiem? He saves three break points and holds his serve to stay in the fourth set. Two aces and a crunching forehand on the third saved the break points and then he took two more points in a row to fend off that march from Nadal. Thiem has given himself hope here, can he break Nadal back?

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 3-1. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 9:20 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal holds off that Dominic Thiem massive challenge to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth set. This was a must-break for Thiem and a must-hold for Nadal and it is the 11-time champion who came out on top. The only positives for Thiem right now is that he is challenging Nadal every service game.

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 3-0. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 9:17 pm (IST)

Two break points come and go for Dominic Thiem. The amount of effort the Austrian has put into this Rafael Nadal service game, it's a must-break for him.

Jun 9, 2019 9:10 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal Breaks Dominic Thiem | And the task gets bigger and tougher for the Austrian. He loses his serve early on in the fourth set with Nadal already leading in the match and he looks on disappointed. A break of serve is now imminent for Thiem if he wants to keep himself in this set and the match.

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 2-0. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 9:06 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal Holds Serve vs Dominic Thiem | Thiem turns up against for this set and puts Nadal under immense pressure in just the first service game of the fourth set. Nadal, however, saved a break point to hold his serve and march ahead.

Set 4: Nadal leads Thiem 1-0. Nadal leads the match 2-1

Jun 9, 2019 8:57 pm (IST)

A brutal set of tennis from Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem could not do a thing about this one. Nadal takes the third set 6-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the final. Thiem was absolutely battered in this one - it took Nadal just 28 minutes to knock Thiem out of this set. The Spanish bull is now roaring.

Jun 9, 2019 8:52 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal holds his serve to love once again to take a 5-1 lead in the third set. Nadal's beast mode is on and this is looking difficult for Dominic Thiem at the moment. Nadal looks like he just wants to wrap it up.

Jun 9, 2019 8:48 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem gets himself on board in the third set. He finally holds his serve and in style - 40-0. This was an important game for Thiem in order to keep himself in touch with Rafael Nadal even if he goes on to lose this set. Rafael Nadal meanwhile has his beast mode turned on!

Set 3: Nadal leads Thiem 4-1. The match is tied at 1-1.

Jun 9, 2019 8:45 pm (IST)

In the last four games, Dominic Thiem has managed just one point while Rafael Nadal has blazed his way through. This set looks like a lost battle for Thiem but he would need to take a couple of game from here to prepare himself for the next set.

Set 3: Nadal leads Thiem 4-0. The match is tied at 1-1.

Jun 9, 2019 8:40 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal Breaks Dominic Thiem Again | That's three straight games for the 11-time champion and he is roaring in celebration. Thiem has awakened the man by taking the second set and the King of Clay responds by simply raising the level of tennis and Thiem is just unable to match it up at the moment. This is all going downhill for the Austrian.

Set 3: Nadal leads Thiem 3-0. The match is tied at 1-1.

Jun 9, 2019 8:38 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal backs up the break with a service hold and that is eight straight points for the Spaniard. Thiem has experienced a drop here and he needs to turn up if he wants to have a chance in this set. He has enraged the bull by taking that set off.

Set 3: Nadal leads Thiem 2-0. The match is tied at 1-1

Jun 9, 2019 8:35 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal Breaks Dominic Thiem | In just the first game of the third set, the King of Clay strikes. Thiem was a no-show in this particular game as Nadal responded to the second set loss by breaking him 40-0. After the intensity of the end of that second set, Thiem dropped off the radar a bit. Now he chases the set already.

Set 3: Nadal leads Thiem 1-0. The match is tied at 1-1

Jun 9, 2019 8:28 pm (IST)

That is sensational from Dominic Thiem! An unforced error from Rafael Nadal and his long shot gives the second set to the Austrian 7-5. And we are level in this men's singles final. It was known that Thiem will go hard to get the break in this set and he did it with crunching forehands and exceptional all-court play. The final just got better!

Jun 9, 2019 8:19 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem says, 'if Rafael Nadal can hold serve to love, so can I'. Another dominating show from the Austrian on his serve and he doesn't let the King of Clay come anywhere near to breaking him. This is an intriguing battle.

Set 2: Thiem leads Nadal 6-5. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 8:17 pm (IST)

What a forehand from Rafael Nadal to close out that service game, astonishing! Thiem throws a backhand spin at Nadal and the Spaniard quickly gets around the ball and crunches it totally. Another comfortable service hold for Nadal. It remains the same, who will blink first here?

Set 2: Nadal 5-5 Thiem. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 8:13 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem does not drop a single point in this service game - that's a first in this set. A perfect service game of sorts for the Austrian where he even managed to get a net error out of Rafael Nadal. With the lead he has now, he needs to go all out at the next Nadal service game and look to wrap it up.

Set 2: Thiem leads Nadal 5-4. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 8:08 pm (IST)

Rafael Nadal easily holds his serve even after Dominic Thiem had taken the first point of this game. It is those net points that Nadal is increasingly racking up that is helping him get some edge. Thiem has to find another gear to give himself some chance here.

Set 2: Nadal 4-4 Thiem. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 8:04 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem shows he is not backing down just yet! He is doing everything he can against the might of Rafael Nadal. From finding the lines and hitting those powerful forehands to drop shots and getting Nadal wrong-footed, Thiem is putting all of his game out there at the Philippe Chatrier.

Set 2: Thiem leads Nadal 4-3. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 8:01 pm (IST)

The second set remains on serve! Another 40-0 service hold for Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem is now finding it increasingly difficult to earn point on a Nadal serve. For the Austrian this has to change. For the Spaniard, he knows he is 100-0 in best of 5 on clay after winning the first set. The odds are all favouring Nadal at the moment.

Set 2: Nadal 3-3 Thiem. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 7:57 pm (IST)

Dominic Thiem Holds Serve vs Rafael Nadal | Another comfortable service hold for Thiem, even though the level of tennis has not dropped. The drama that the first set saw has reduced but both players are still putting it all out behind every ball. It will be about, who blinks first in this one.

Set 2: Thiem leads Nadal 3-2. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 7:54 pm (IST)

Easy service hold for Rafael Nadal! Dominic Thiem is unable to make inroads in the Nadal serve for the second service game in this second set. Nadal easily levels up the set and throws the ball back up to Thiem to try and get the lead again.

Set 2: Nadal 2-2 Thiem. Nadal leads the match 1-0

Jun 9, 2019 7:50 pm (IST)

That Crunching Forehand Comes Out Again! What a point from Dominic Thiem and he gets an important service hold to take the lead in the second set once again. Earlier in the game, Rafael Nadal had an oops moment when he fluffed an easy kill at the net, perhaps anticipating it well ahead. Thiem held his nerve throughout this one and made his shots well.

Set 2: Thiem leads Nadal 2-1. Nadal leads the match 1-0

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French Open 2019 Final Highlights: Rafael Nadal is King of Clay Again, Beats Thiem to Win Record 12th Roland Garros Title
Rafael Nadal has won 12 French Open titles in the last 14 editions. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Rafael Nadal has got an early break in the fourth set of the French Open final vs Dominic Thiem. After absolutely thrashing Thiem in the third set, Nadal was put on pressure by Thiem in his service game but the Spaniard held on and then broke Thiem. The Austrian tried hard for the rest of the set to break Nadal back and to hold his serve but he was broken for again and Nadal served out the match.

Rafael Nadal absolutely knocked out Dominic Thiem in the third set to take it 6-1 and get himself a 2-1 lead in the French Open final. This was absolutely brutal from the King of Clay, he was screaming at every big point and Thiem has a huge task at hand now with Nadal all enraged.

Dominic Thiem took the second set 7-5 vs Rafael Nadal to level this French Open 2019 final at 1-1. That was tennis of the highest quality from Thiem in Nadal's last service game, when he broke the 11-time champion to get himself back in the set. This is the first time that Nadal has dropped a set against Thiem at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal took a high-quality first set of the French Open final against Dominic Thiem. It was a sensational battle between the two and even though the Austrian threw absolutely everything at the 11-time champion, the Spaniard came out on top. Nadal has never lost to Thiem after winning the first set.

Nadal had been in ominous form throughout the tournament, dropping only a single set throughout the match - against Belgian David Goffin in the third round. For Thiem, he dropped a set each in his first three matches in Paris but then registered emphatic victories in Round 4 and the quarter-final. In the semi-final though, Thiem had to battle for five sets against world No.1 Novak Djokovic to go through.

Thiem had spent 15 hours and 25 minutes on court at this year's Roland Garros, compared to Nadal's 13 hours and 24 minutes. Even though the number of hours spent doesn't show a huge difference, it is the fact that Thiem played for a fourth straight day that took a toll on his body.

The King of Clay Nadal had never lost a French Open final and that record remained. He now holds a hair-raising 93-2 win-loss record at Paris's clay.
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