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A French dozen: Rafa Nadal takes 12th Roland Garros title
10 June 2019 @ 19:06

KING of Clay Rafael Nadal stunned fans yesterday (Sunday) when he broke all records and scooped up his 12th French Open title after a four-set victory against Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Mallorca-born Rafa's 18th major singles title and his third on the trot at Paris' Roland Garros stadium, the Spanish ace only dropped one set to fourth-seeded Thiem – to whom Nadal apologised for beating afterwards.

“I want to say congratulations to Dominic – I feel sorry, because he deserves it. I really hope he has a chance to win in the future,” Rafa told reporters after the three-hour, four-minute match.

It is the second time he has beaten Thiem in a Roland Garros final, but this time he looked to have a battle on his hands – by the end of the second set, on 6-3 5-7, it appeared the match could go either way.

But after sets three and four ended on 6-1 6-1 thanks to Thiem's last forehand going long, an exhausted and triumphant Rafa fell to the ground, knowing he had now netted his dozen at the Paris stadium, meaning two-thirds of his major singles titles have been at his favourite venue.

Thiem, 25, had vastly improved since they last faced each other across the court at Roland Garros, having taken on new coach, Chile's Nicolás Massu, an Olympic gold medallist, and his efforts were described as 'super-human' – in fact, this is the first time he had ever taken a set off Rafa in the four matches they have played to date at the French Open.



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