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SportNadal rolls to record 12th French Open title

01:26  10 june  2019
01:26  10 june  2019 Source:   ap.org

Record-setting Djokovic into last-eight, Nishikori to face Nadal

Record-setting Djokovic into last-eight, Nishikori to face Nadal Novak Djokovic on Monday became the first man to reach the French Open quarter-finals for 10 successive seasons while Kei Nishikori set-up the toughest challenge on a clay court -- facing Rafael Nadal. Top seed and world number one Djokovic continued his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time by thrashing Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The 32-year-old will now face either ninth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini or fifth seed Alexander Zverev in what will be his 13th appearance overall in the quarter-finals in Paris. "It was tricky with the rain, but that's Paris," said the 2016 champion after playing in drizzly conditions.

Nadal rolls to record 12 th French Open title Read more Any violation of policy, community guidelines, copyright law or business cooperation please contact

‘There will never be another Nadal ’: Plaudits roll in as clay king Rafa seals 12 th French Open . From Tiger Woods to Sergio Ramos, praise has been pouring in for Spanish clay court king Rafael Nadal as he claimed a record -extending 12 th French Open title with victory over Austria’s Dominic Thiem on

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PARIS (AP) -- For a few, fleeting moments Sunday, Rafael Nadal found his French Open supremacy seemingly threatened by Dominic Thiem, a younger, talented opponent challenging him in the final for the second consecutive year.

A poor game from Nadal allowed Thiem to break him and even things at a set apiece. That development brought fans to their feet in Court Philippe Chatrier, roaring and clapping and, above all, wondering: Was this, now, a real contest? Could Thiem push Nadal more? Could he make this surge last? Would Nadal falter?

Nadal, Federer in the lead as bad weather hits French Open

Nadal, Federer in the lead as bad weather hits French Open Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal looked on the verge of wrapping up a quick win Tuesday to make it to the semifinals for a record-extending 12th time when ominously dark clouds derailed his plans.Leading 6-1, 6-1, 4-2 against Kei Nishikori on Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal shook his head in disbelief when tournament organizers took the decision to stop play at the clay-court Grand Slam because a thunderstorm was on its way.Before that, the closest thing to a hurricane at Roland Garros had been Nadal himself.In an impressive display of power and consistency, the 17-time Grand Slam champion had methodically picked apart Nishikori with a mix of pinpoint groundstrokes, subtle drop shots

Spanish clay court king Rafael Nadal continued his undisputed reign as he beat Austria’s Dominic Thiem in four sets to claim a record -extending 12 th French Open title at Roland - Garros . Second seed Nadal saw off spirited resistance from Thiem before cracking the Austrian in a dominant third set

Record -setting Djokovic into last-eight, Nishikori to face Nadal . Novak Djokovic on Monday became the first man to reach the French Open quarter-finals for 10 successive seasons while Kei Nishikori set-up the toughest challenge on a clay court -- facing Rafael Nadal .

That the questions arose at all was significant. The answers arrived swiftly. Nadal reasserted himself, as he usually does at Roland Garros, by grabbing 16 of the next 17 points and 12 of the remaining 14 games, pulling away to beat Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 for his record-extending 12th championship at the French Open.

"He stepped on me," Thiem said. "The numbers are crazy. He won it 12 times."

No one in tennis ever has won any major tournament that frequently. Then again, no one ever has been as suited for success on any of the sport's surfaces as this 33-year-old Spaniard is on red clay: Nadal is 93-2 for his career at Roland Garros, winning four in a row from 2005-08, five in a row from 2010-14, and now three in a row.

"I can't explain my emotions," said the No. 2-seeded Nadal, who dropped to his back after the final point, getting that rust-colored dirt all over his neon yellow shirt, then wiped away tears during the trophy ceremony.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal set French Open semifinal clash

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal set French Open semifinal clash Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will face each other for the first time since 2017.

Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros to claim his 12 th French Open crown and 18th grand slam title .

Rafael Nadal secured a record -extending 12 th French Open title Sunday, overcoming the spirited challenge of Dominic Thiem to win 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.

Looking at the bigger picture, he is now up to 18 Grand Slam trophies, moving within two of Roger Federer's men's record of 20.

Thiem, a 25-year-old Austrian who was seeded No. 4 and upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, was eyeing his first major title in this rematch of the 2018 final in Paris. But again, he couldn't solve Nadal.

"First thing that I want to say is congrats to Dominic. I feel sorry, because he deserves it here, too," Nadal said. "He has an unbelievable intensity."

So, of course, does Nadal. This had been, by his lofty standards, a rough season, from the most lopsided Grand Slam final loss of his career -- against Djokovic at the Australian Open -- to entering May without a title for the first year since 2004.

He started to right himself by taking the Italian Open title on clay last month.

"It was very important for him to win in Rome. It was like he realized that he was getting back on the good level, on the right path," said Nadal's coach, 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya, "and gaining a lot of confidence."

Five Thoughts on Day 10: Federer's Decision to Play on Clay Was a Great One

Five Thoughts on Day 10: Federer's Decision to Play on Clay Was a Great One Five Thoughts on Day 10: Federer's Decision to Play on Clay Was a Great One

Rafael Nadal secured a record -extending 12 th French Open title Sunday, overcoming the spirited challenge of Dominic Thiem to win 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1. For the second year running, Nadal defeated Thiem in the final at Roland Garros to clinch an 18th grand slam crown.

MIKE DICKSON AT ROLAND GARROS : Rafael Nadal won his 12 th French Open title following a stern examination against the heir to his throne in Rafael Nadal showed his class as the world No 2 won a record 12 th French Open title on Sunday afternoon. Thiem became only the fourth player in

Soon enough, Nadal found himself in a familiar position in Paris: playing in the final, and winning it.

This one began on a cloudy afternoon, with the temperature in the low 60s (mid-teens Celsius) and only a slight breeze. In the initial game -- interrupted briefly by a baby wailing in the stands, drawing a laugh from other spectators and prompting Nadal to back away from the baseline between serves -- three of the five points lasted at least 11 strokes.

And, thereby, a pattern was established: By the end of the 3-hour, 1-minute match, a total of 46 points went 10 strokes or more. Each man claimed half.

Both would station themselves along the baseline and sprint, scramble, slide, stretch to somehow reach just about every ball, not merely putting a racket on it but conjuring a booming reply. It was an impressive display of athleticism, skill and will, with Thiem managing to give just as good as he got, particularly with his ferocious backhand.

From the get-go, it was such a physical grind that Nadal was soaked with sweat and changed neon yellow shirts after seven games and 45 minutes, eliciting catcalls from the stands.

Novak Djokovic upset by Dominic Thiem in French Open semifinals

Novak Djokovic upset by Dominic Thiem in French Open semifinals Novak Djokovic lost his bid for a fourth straight Grand Slam title.

Nadal reasserted himself, as he usually does at Roland Garros , by grabbing 16 of the next 17 points and 12 of the remaining 14 games, pulling away to beat Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 for his record -extending 12 th championship at the French Open .

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates his record 12 th French Open tennis tournament title . The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player will collect a check for 2.3 million euros, about .6 million, after defeating Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 for his record -setting 12 th championship at the French Open .

Early on, there were no signs of fatigue for Thiem, even though he was competing for a fourth straight day, because of rain that jumbled the schedule. Nadal, meanwhile, entered Sunday having played just once in the previous four days.

Not only that, but while Nadal dismissed Federer with relative ease in a straight-set semifinal that concluded Friday, Thiem was forced to work overtime, eliminating Djokovic in a five-setter that wrapped up less than 24 hours before the final began.

Thiem showed he can play defense. Showed he can flip to offense in a blink. Showed power off both sides. Showed precision, too, making only three of the match's first 12 unforced errors.

Indeed, it was Thiem who nosed ahead first, closing a 12-stroke exchange by ripping a forehand to earn the first break point of the final, then converting it with an overhead to cap a 20-stroke point for a 3-2 edge. He turned with a clenched right hand to face his guest box, where all of his supporters were yelling and shaking fists, too, including his girlfriend, French tennis player Kristina Mladenovic, who won the women's doubles championship earlier in the day.

Nadal immediately responded. He grabbed the next four games with elan, using a drop shot to help break for a 5-3 lead, then a serve-and-volley to help hold for the set.

That must have been demoralizing for Thiem. But at the ensuing changeover, he didn't whack a ball toward the stands, as Federer memorably did during his semifinal loss. He didn't spike a racket or kick a ball. He casually sat in his gray sideline seat, bounced his legs and chewed on an energy bar, furtively glancing to his left at Nadal.

Thiem bounced back, if only briefly. Talk about a stunning shift: Nadal won 25 of 26 points on his serve before -- with spectators trading between-point chants of nicknames, "Ra-fa!" and "Do-mi!" -- he got broken to cede the second set. That was the only set he'd managed to steal from Nadal in four career meetings at Roland Garros.

Maybe this was going to be a long one.

But Thiem, put simply, wilted a bit. He made three unforced errors in the next set's opening game to get broken at love, creating an opening that Nadal barged through. By now, Nadal was creating magic at the net, and he won the point on 23 of 27 times he went forward. One drop volley was spun so marvelously that it landed on Thiem's side, then bounced back toward the net. All Thiem could do was watch -- and offer an appreciative thumbs-up.

"Almost everybody will tell you that he's one of the best volleyers of our game," Thiem said. "Because the last time he missed a volley was, maybe, seven years ago, I guess."

Soon enough, it was over. The King of Clay, as Nadal is known, still reigns.

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Nadal rolls to record 12th French Open title
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