Rafa Nadal increases his legacy with his 12th title at Roland Garros | Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Rafa Nadal increases his legacy with his 12th title at Roland Garros

Rafa Nadal has lifted for the twelfth time the Musketeers Cup that distinguishes the champion of the clay tournament par excellence, Roland Garros. He is the first tennis player to win 12 titles in the same competition. He has exceeded his own record, as the number 2 in the world was already the most outstanding player in history in this regard with the 11 wins in the Rolex Monte Carlo Master and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Dominic Thiem has shown his new status as the main heir to the kingdom of clay and forced the Spaniard to play a fourth set, something that had only happened in six of his previous 11 finals at the Roland Garros centre. The result of this unforgettable final has been 6-3, 6-7, 6-1, 6-1. Nadal has already won 93 matches in Paris for just two defeats. Should he reach the final again next year he would achieve the magical number of 100 matches won.

The match Nadal-Thiem is one of the 11 that have repeated the final in Paris throughout the history of the tournament. Both met in the 2018 edition of Roland Garros with victory for Nadal in three sets.

Nadal, who has an extraordinary revenge after falling to Thiem in the semifinal of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, has been the clear dominator of the final, taking the initiative of the match at all times. After losing the service in the fifth game of the first set, the Spaniard won four games in a row and earned the first set with a conclusive 6-3.

In the second just nothing outstanding happened in the first 11 games, all resolved from the player on serve and without a break point for either of them. But, at 6-5, Thiem took the advantage of two unexpected errors from Nadal´s racquet to get the set 7-5.

Nadal's response was fierce in the third set. He won the first 11 points with three breaks and final result of 6-1 in just 26 minutes.

The intensity of the Spanish champion made Thiem begin to show signs of weakness and lost his serve in the fourth set, allowing Nadal to gain a decisive advantage of 3-0 with some master points at the net. After a few minutes of certain equality, Nadal returned to get the break in the sixth game (5-1) and then put the finishing touch with his service.

Nadal, who has already won 18 Grand Slam and is two shy from Roger Federer, the historic leader, connects 12 matches won in 2019 and already has two titles this season - he had previously won the 1000 Masters in Rome - the same figure than five other players, including Novak Djokovic.