by Intern Matthew Weitz
ATLANTA – After an exciting four set final, Rafa Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem to win his 12th French Open title and his 18th overall major title.
In the first set, things initially looked bleak for Rafa. He went down a break early to the 25 year old Austrian. Unlike most tennis players however, Nadal has the ability to turn up his play another gear when he is in trouble. Rafa broke Thiem’s serve back to bring the first set back on serve, before breaking Thiem again, taking the set 6-3.
In the second set, things got even tighter, Thiem finally ended the set by doing something he had never done against Rafa at the French Open, winning the set 7-5.
Then things began to fall apart for Thiem, as Rafa Nadal cruised through the next two sets. Nadal took both the third and fourth sets by a score of 6-1 each. This ended the match, giving Rafa his 12th French Open title in 15 years.
After the match, Rafa encouraged Thiem to keep trying, and stated that he knew Thiem would win the French Open one day. Thiem was a gracious loser, praising Nadal for everything he had done in his career.
Nadal now has eighteen major titles, two less than Roger Federer’s men’s tennis leading twenty. After beginning to dominate the French Open and the clay court tournaments that serve as warm up events, Rafa Nadal earned the nickname “The king of clay”. Though Nadal has earned this nickname, he is a formidable opponent on any surface. Rafa has won all four majors at least once.
Nadal holds the distinction of winning the French Open in his teens, twenties, and thirties. This is another unique achievement in his storied career. What the future now holds for Rafa Nadal is uncertain, but today he let everyone know that he is not done yet.