Tennis

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Rafael Nadal wins his third-straight French Open title with impressive win over Dominic Thiem

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Rafael Nadal has won his 12th French Open title after a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win against Dominic Thiem. 

The level of tennis in Sunday's final was impressive from the start, with both players settling in very quickly. 

It was Thiem who broke first in the opening set, putting the pressure on the defending champion, who fought back instantly with a break of his own.

Commentators described the early stages as 'time capsule tennis' - something worthy of showing fans hundreds of years later - and they weren't wrong. 

After almost an hour of world-class play in which the two finalists were so evenly matched, Nadal finally took control of the first set and won it 6-3. 

The second set was even more closely contested with both men holding their serve well before Theim finally broke to win 7-5 after a number of sensational rallies.   

But Nadal, 33, made his experience show early in the third, breaking Theim's serve instantly, before taking a 4-0 lead. The Austrian was never able to recover, eventually losing the set 6-1. 

That set also featured arguably the best shot of the French Open, which you can watch below. 

After blowing Thiem away in the third, Nadal made an impressive start to the fourth set, holding serve before breaking his opponents. 

On the day, Rafa's class and experience on clay were just too much for Thiem, as the reigning champion wrapped things up by winning the fourth set 6-1 to defend his title. 

The final will go down as one of the greatest ever battles at Roland-Garros, with Nadal eventually winning his record 12th title, cementing his legacy as the King of Clay. 

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He's also now won three-straight French Open titles, and 12 of the last 15 tournaments. 

Match conditions were far more comfortable on Sunday after Nadal and Thiem both had to fight through tough circumstances to reach the final. 

In Friday's semifinal, the Spaniard had to deal with blustery winds alongside Roger Federer's classy tennis, but came through the match in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. 

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Just hours after that, Thiem battled Novak Djokovic in a match that was impacted by more heavy winds and rain spells, causing it to be postponed until Saturday afternoon. 

The Austrian eventually came through in a five-set thriller, but came up short against Nadal, in a repeat of last year's French Open final.   

An extra day of rest may well have been key to the Spaniard winning the match, who once again proved that he's unmatched on a clay court. 

Topics:
French Open
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Tennis

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