The 'King Of Clay' Still Reigns Supreme With 12th French Open Title

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Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem, French Open men's final 2019: live score updates and latest news

Rafael Nadal swept to an 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.

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.

It must have sounded to his opponents as a bad threat, as Rafael Nadal announced after the "Herculean" the twelfth French Open title, his return for 2020.

As much as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have shared the defining sporting rivalry of the last 15 years, until Sunday they had never actually been that close according to the metric most often used to judge tennis greatness.

Nadal has the record for winning the most major men's titles at a single grand slam.

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Nadal's French Open record overall is 93-3.

"That's why Rafa has won here 12 times, because he raises his level when he needs to".

"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. "Being honest, I am not very anxious about this stuff, no?"

It was a fine start from the Swiss and a smash victor in game four gave him two break points, only to be denied by Nadal who saved them both and held after a backhand error from Roger. I felt competitive last couple of years, so why do I need to change that? "Today, I saw why". I think he has the possibility to win, and I want to hope that this year it will be possible. Before running in to Barty, Vondrousova did not lose a set all tournament and defeated a succession of more experienced players.

By his own estimates, his career-long battles against knee and wrist injuries have cost him "around 15 or even more Grand Slams". "I was down mentally and physically after Indian Wells", said Nadal.

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- Dominic Thiem said he had "forgotten" the freakish incident which had seen him booted out of a news conference to accommodate Serena Williams who he then accused of having "a bad personality".

Nadal's coach Carlos Moya, who described the 33-year-old's 12th Roland Garros title as "beyond this world", also thinks another Wimbledon title is within reach. He said: "You can't be frustrated all the time because the neighbour has a bigger house than you, or a bigger TV or a better garden".

"It's very tough. I gave everything these last two weeks", said Thiem, who had seven fewer winners and seven more unforced errors in the final.

"It's not what makes me get up every morning or go and train and play".

He said: "That's not the way that I see the life". In Nadal's home country Spain, Marca wrote: 'Eternal legend of Roland Garros.

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It also gave him an 82nd career title and 950th match win.

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