ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal overcomes Dominic Thiem to extend his reign

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ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal overcomes Dominic Thiem to extend his reign

As was expected before the start of the tournament, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem set up the final clash at Roland Garros and it was the Spaniard who reigned supreme once again in Paris, toppling the Austrian 6-4 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 43 minutes to defend the title and remain world number 1 on tomorrow's ATP rankings list. This was the 11th Roland Garros crown for Rafa in 14 appearances and his 17th Grand Slam crown overall, trailing three behind Roger Federer who won his 20th at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Starting from the Roland Garros last year, Rafa and Roger have won the last six Majors, something they couldn't achieve since 2009, and it is another testimony of their timeless quality and determination. Thiem was the only player who defeated Rafa on clay in the last two seasons but he failed to deliver another upset, unable to match Nadal's amazing pace and to win his maiden Grand Slam title in what was his maiden Grand Slam final.

Rafa has won 86 out of 88 matches he played in Paris since 2005 and this was his 111th win in 113 matches in best-of-five matches on clay, numbers that would certainly never be reached again. Also, this is the 14th season with at least one Grand Slam title for Rafa and he is the third oldest champion in Paris in the Open era, behind Andres Gimeno and Ken Rosewall, who was there to present him the trophy.

In addition, Rafa is the only player in the Open era who has won 11 titles at three different tournaments after he conquered Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros this spring to extend his clay court dominance that lasts for 13 years now.

The Spaniard served at 68% and he was very solid in his games, dominating on the first serve and keeping the second safe enough to face just three break points in the entire match and get broken once (he had to play against four break points in total in the finals of 2017 and 2018).

Also, he had more winners than unforced errors as well, controlling the pace of his shots and forcing Thiem to go for risky shots and lines which drew more than 40 unforced errors from him. Dominic served below 60% and he had to play against 17 break points, that an even bigger pressure on his shoulders in the most important match of his career so far.

Nadal converted five and that was enough to seal the deal in straight sets, having the upper hand from the baseline, neutralizing rival's shots and finding an open space to land his well-balanced and tamed groundstrokes that left Thiem with no answer. Final result: