Relentless Rafael Nadal survives scare to win 12th French Open title

Arnold Nichols
June 15, 2019

Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal has cemented his reputation and legacy at the French Open, adding a 12th championship win this past Sunday by defeating Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 at Roland Garros.

Federer, who will be 38 in August, played dazzling tennis to reach the semi-final before Nadal and a Parisian gale did for his hopes of a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title.

It is nine years since Nadal won the last of his two titles on the grass of the All England Club.

For the 12th time in his career, Rafael Nadal celebrated a title at Roland Garros.

That means Nadal is not obsessed with beating Federer's record of 20 Slams, even though the former world No. 1 believes he would have already surpassed that mark, had it not been for dodgy knees, insisting he "lost around 15 or even more Grand Slams in my career for injuries".

Just like in 2005 and 2006, Roger was able to take a set out of Rafa in 2007 final that took place on June 10 but it wasn't enough for an overall win, with Nadal celebrating a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in three hours and 10 minutes (2006 final lasted for more than three hours as well) for his third straight Roland Garros crown.

Rafael Nadal has done it again. "That also shows how hard nowadays it is to win a Grand Slam".

"I was not enjoying it too much, I was anxious about my health".

"Being able, at this time in my career, to get another victory is obviously a great satisfaction and a great happiness", said Nadal after the 3-hour win.

"I had issues with my knee and surgery on my foot, so many issues in the last 18 months that have made the last few weeks very special". "Last year I was one point away to the final".

"To be honest, I'm not too anxious about these things, right?" It's confidence. And having been at a low when he arrived in Barcelona in April, when he admitted his attitude was uncharacteristically negative, he changed things around. As everybody knows, I love to play on grass.

Nadal might have won a 12th Roland Garros title on the weekend, but he remains well behind Djokovic, a semifinalist in Paris, in ATP rankings released Monday.

"He knew he had to raise his level in the third set because Dominic might go down a little bit".

"I played a great event previous year".

Carlos Moya, who has taken over the full-time coaching reins from Toni Nadal, also thinks Rafa can win Wimbledon again.

Next up for Nadal is his latest assault on Wimbledon, where he has twice been champion, in 2008 and 2010. "You can't be frustrated all the time because the neighbor has a bigger house than you, or a bigger TV or better garden".

That couldn't happen as Nadal sailed through his service games easily to close the set with another powerful forehand in game nine, moving closer to the finish line and another title in Paris. Surely only a matter of time before he gets his hands on the French Open trophy.

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