Nadal Wins Unprecedented 12th French Open Title
Rafael Nadal won his 3rd consecutive French Open crown on Sunday, beating 4th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 in a high-quality affair on Sunday. Nadal was simply too good from start to finish, with Thiem producing moments of sheer brilliance to keep the match competitive. However, Thiem wasn’t able to sustain his level like his opponent and fell just short of his first Grand Slam title.
Nadal has become the first player ever (male of female) to win a single tournament 12 times. His sheer dominance at the French Open is a feat that has never been seen before and will likely never be repeated. Although Nadal stays as World Number 2, he has propelled himself to top spot on the ATP Race to London, having now collected nearly 800 points more than Novak Djokovic since the start of the year. Djokovic himself was beaten in the semi-finals by Thiem, in a controversial match in which Djokovic seemed to deliberately delay proceedings when playing poorly in order to disrupt Thiem’s rhythm, even walking off court without word from the umpire on two occasions.
Dominic Thiem can hold his head high at the end of a terrific clay court season, which saw him win 15 matches and win his 13th ATP title in Barcelona. Thiem also beat Nadal, Djokovic and Federer on the red dirt and has certainly proven that once Nadal has retired, he will dominate on the clay.
In a largely uninspiring women’s draw, which saw many of the top players either withdraw or lose early, the last woman standing was 8th seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who beat teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 to claim her maiden Grand Slam title at just the age of 23. What makes Barty’s victory even more remarkable, is that she quit tennis to play professional cricket in 2014, but switched back a year and a half later, a move which has certainly paid dividends.
Vondrousova, despite being battered in the final by a far superior opponent, has much to be proud of. She will enter the Word’s Top 20 for the first time after a wholly successful clay court season and will look to continue her success on the grass in the coming weeks.
Written by Emre Saridogan