Sports

Nadal like a Matisse masterpiece - Kuerten salutes French Open champion

Nadal like a Matisse masterpiece - Kuerten salutes French Open champion

In an awesome statistic, Nadal's 12 French Open titles alone would place him fourth all-time in grand slam men's singles titles won.

Nadal won the French Open for 12 times in 15 years. Nadal had a hard build-up to the tournament after more knee problems in the spring but he only lost two sets all tournament and once again quelled the challenge of Dominic Thiem, the pretender to his clay-court crown, in the final.

Rafael Nadal became the first tennis player to win an individual grand slam trophy a dozen times, beating his opponent Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. In the first game - interrupted briefly by a baby wailing in the stands, drawing a laugh from spectators and prompting Nadal to back away from the baseline between serves - three of the five points lasted at least 11 strokes.

"That's a unique and also brutal thing, I guess, in our sport, that I won six fantastic matches", added Thiem. "Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another incredible legend of our game, against the best clay court player of all time", Thiem said.

"To be honest, I'm not too anxious about these things, right?" Don't give me you're too young for that.

The 33-yr-frail is the first participant to decide on 12 singles titles on the the same Noteworthy Slam and has now gained 18 majors overall.

"I lost my first two Masters 1000 finals, as well. I feel sorry as he deserves to win it as well", said Nadal.

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"That's why Rafa has won here 12 times, because he raises his level when he needs to". I beat yesterday one of the biggest legends of our game.

The only other team to win the Paris Grand Slam on debut was Jim Grabb and Patrick McEnroe in 1989.

Yesterday, Nadal took his Roland Garros record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses having previously won the title in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018. On Sunday, though, as Nadal once more took a bite out of the Coupe des Mousquetaires, it was as if his 12th title in Paris was never in doubt. "But you want to see the passing of the torch while they are still in their prime", added Becker, who won Wimbledon at the age of 17.

"I never tried to think about, well, am I gonna catch Roger or not", Nadal said. It's a motivation, yes, but.it's not what makes me get up every morning or go and train and play. Nadal said. "You can't be frustrated all the time because the neighbor has a bigger house than you or a bigger TV or better garden". "For me, [to win] Roland Garros, to feel myself enjoying again on court, that's the main thing".

In the aftermath of his latest Roland Garros triumph, he admitted that after an injury-hit start to 2019, he felt "down mentally and physically" and questioned his love for the sport.

"I know that [Roger] Federer is there, Djokovic is there, Dominic [Thiem], many good players, but I want to think that Rafael has the possibility because it's impossible to work well without confidence". I have been able to be very close to winning another title there.


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