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Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Austria's Dominic Thiem
Image: Getty Images/AFP/M. Bureau

Nadal beats Thiem to clinch French Open

Richard Connor
June 9, 2019

Spain's Rafael Nadal has won the French Open for the 12th time, beating his Austrian opponent Dominic Thiem over four sets. Thiem had drawn level, winning the second set before Nadal stormed back to win the title.


Rafael Nadal became the first tennis player to win an individual grand slam trophy a dozen times, beating his opponent Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

The 32-year-old Nadal claimed his crown on the clay at Roland Garros at the end of a match lasting three hours and one minute that didn't go all his own way.

Thiem managed to break Nadal's serve in the first set, only to see Nadal break back and go on to claim the set. The Austrian fared better in the second, forcing his Spanish opponent into a succession of rushed ground strokes and claiming the set 5-7.

Nadal didn't take that lying down and powered back with the next two sets, winning both 6-1 as the differences between the pair began to show.

"It's a dream to win again, an incredible momentum," said Nadal. "When I first played here in 2005 I never thought I would be still playing here in 2019. It's very special for me."

Thiem was also Nadal's opponent in last year's final, in which the Spaniard sealed victory over just three sets. 

The title means that "King of Clay" Nadal breaks the record of Australian Margaret Court, who won the Australian Open 11 times. It means he now has 18 titles at the majors, just two short of Switzerland's Roger Federer.

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