Rafael Nadal swept to a historic 12th Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Austria’s Dominic Thiem. The 33-year-old Spaniard becomes the first player, man or woman, to win the same Slam 12 times after seeing off a brave challenge from a weary Thiem in a repeat of 2018 final.Also Read - Madrid Open: Carlos Alcaraz Beats Rafael Nadal To Set Up Semifinal With Novak Djokovic
Nadal is now just two behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 majors and three ahead of Novak Djokovic who was knocked out by Thiem in the semi-finals. The world number two also took his Paris record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses having previously won the title in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018. Also Read - Rafael Nadal Breezes Through on His Return From Injury In Madrid Open
Sunday’s triumph confirmed the ‘Big Three’ stranglehold on the Grand Slams having shared the last 10 between them. It also gave Nadal an 82nd career title and 950th match win. Also Read - Rafael Nadal Overcomes Carlos Alcaraz, Sets Up Indian Wells Title Clash Against Taylor Fritz
In a 53-minute first set of brutal hitting and raw physicality, it was Thiem who broke first for a 3-2 lead. But the 25-year-old’s joy was short-lived as Nadal retrieved the break in the sixth game before racing away with the next three games to pocket the opener.
Thiem, who had beaten his opponent four times on clay in his career, failed to claim a single point off Nadal’s first five service games of the second set.
However, the dogged Austrian pushed and pushed, forced Nadal into three rushed groundstrokes and, from nowhere, broke to take the second set.
It was the first set he had managed to take off Nadal at Roland Garros after three previous defeats.
(With Agency Inputs)