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

Nadal tells Thiem'You'll win it one day

That's the only set Thiem has won against Nadal in four career meetings at Roland Garros. With the win, Nadal has now won more French Open titles than Rod Laver of Australia and Bjorn Borg of Sweden have won total majors as each of them have won 11 majors all-time. He was the runner-up in 2011, but for a few years after that, it seemed that Nadal's creaking knees were not up to the challenge of the relatively low-bouncing grass.

At Roland-Garros, Nadal is 93-2 - losing only to Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling over the last 15 years. Her final opponent, 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova, also plays with a lot of variety, as does 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who made her first slam semi-final.

"I don't know if it was her mistake or if it was only the mistake of the officials, but I don't know if she saw me or if she saw that somebody's in the room", he said after beating Gael Monfils to reach the last 16. And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago. So I have to do my schedule.

"I'm very disappointed and sad that I missed my second opportunity to win a Grand Slam title, but it's okay". Even if the first year have been that match against Muller, I played great tennis there too.

"He said the speed and intensity in the first two sets was very hard, it was brutal conditions as well with long rallies and it was hard to breathe".

With the win, the 33-year-old Spaniard is the first tennis player to ever win the same Slam 12 times. He said: "Of course, why not?" And in the third set, Nadal didn't lose a single point on serve!

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Nadal will now prioritise rest and recovery after his clay-court exploits so will not be taking a wild card into the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club.

But speaking after his victory, Nadal revealed to his compatriot Corretja that he was struggling with some health concerns. "The experience says that having the right preparation, practising well, and maybe a couple of matches before there (works). But what he's been through these last couple of months is showing what a competitor he is and mentally that he's a genius". I really hope he has chance to win in the future.

So it proved until Thiem's final ball drifted long and Nadal was again flat on his back in that red clay, adopting the pose that will adorn back pages and websites worldwide. After the second set I thought the momentum was with Thiem and somehow Nadal just grabbed it out of his hands. Nadal finished winning 12 of the last 14 games after Thiem got that set.

"I am not very anxious about this stuff", Nadal said. Just the numbers are insane. Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another awesome legend of our game, against the best clay-court player of all time. "I want to think that for Rafael, and he has to think that too". It would be unbelievable to get another chance next year, maybe against him or against anybody else.

This is the first Grand Slam final for both.

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