Rafael Nadal will not play in a grass-court tournament before Wimbledon to ensure he is fully fit for the third grand slam of the year.

Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 to secure an astonishing 12th French Open title on Sunday.

The 18-time grand slam champion has not entered a grass-court event prior to Wimbledon since an appearance at Queen's Club four years ago and the world number two will not be altering his schedule.

"I know I played a great event last year [at Wimbledon]. I have been able to be very close to win another title there." said the 33-year-old Spaniard, a two-time champion at SW19.

"As everybody knows, I love to play on grass. And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago. So I have to do my schedule.

"The last two years that I played in Wimbledon, I felt close again. Even though I lost to Gilles Muller [in the fourth round] in 2017, I played great tennis there too. I was very close to being in the quarter-finals, and last year I was one point away from the final [when losing in the semis to Novak Djokovic].

"So I will not play before Wimbledon, of course. I felt competitive the last couple of years, so why do I need to change that? What gives me a better chance is being healthy more than playing a lot of matches before."

Nadal was not in the right frame of mind after suffering injury setbacks earlier in the season, but revealed the turning point came at the Barcelona Open.

"After the first round in Barcelona, I was able to stay alone for a couple of hours in the [locker] room and think about it and think about what's going on, what I need to do." he said.

"And there had been a couple of issues that I had to decide. One possibility was to stop for a while and recover my body. And the other was [to] change drastically my attitude and my mentality to play the next couple of weeks.

"Thinking a lot, finally I think I was able to change and was able to fight back for every small improvement that I was able to make happen. And since that first match against [Leonardo] Mayer in Barcelona, I think the things have been improving every single day since today.

"I played not bad in Barcelona the next three rounds. I played better in Madrid, and I played much better in Rome, and here I played a great event.

"So of course these small things that I have been improving every single day and doing with the right attitude, doing with the right passion, that's the only way for me to be back where I am today.

"Of course [to] have this trophy with me means a lot. But the personal satisfaction of changing the dynamic is the thing that I am more satisfied with."

Rafael Nadal insists he will be content if he ends his career with fewer major titles than Roger Federer, stating you cannot be upset if your "neighbour has a bigger house than you".

After winning the French Open for a 12th time with a stunning 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 triumph over Dominic Thiem on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday, Nadal is now just two grand slams short of Federer's haul of 20 – a record in the men's game.

The Roland Garros champion has never previously been as close to his rival's tally of slam titles, having trailed 16-6 when Federer won the 2010 Australian Open.

While Nadal acknowledges the competition between himself, Federer and 15-time major-winner Novak Djokovic has helped push them all to new heights, he will never feel jealous about another's achievements.

"Of course, we push each other. But I lost, I think, around 15 or even more grand slams in my career due to injuries," said Nadal.

"But being honest, I never complain myself much, and I never tried to think about, 'Well, [am] I gonna catch Roger or not?' Being honest, I am not very worried about this stuff.

"You can't be frustrated all the time because the neighbour has a bigger house than you, or a bigger TV or better garden. That's not the way that I see the life.

"I just try to do my way. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me. And if, at the end of my career, I am able to win a couple of more grand slams and be closer to Roger, [it] will be unbelievable.

"If not, for me, still unbelievable, no? And today, the last thing that I thought before you ask me that is about this thing. For me, Roland Garros, feeling myself enjoying again on court - that's the main thing.

"Then what can happen in the future, we will see. I'm gonna try my best to keep enjoying tennis, giving myself chances to compete at the highest level, and we will see what's going on."

Rafael Nadal is continuing to improve despite his advancing years, according to defeated French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

La Coupe des Mousquetaires was lifted by Nadal for a record-breaking 12th time - no other player has won a single grand slam as many times - on Sunday as he outmuscled Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 in a thrilling encounter on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Victory earned the Spaniard his 18th major title, just two shy of Roger Federer's record haul in the men's game.

Thiem was also beaten by Nadal in last year's final and the Austrian thinks the 'King of Clay' is still managing to up his performance levels despite turning 33 this week.

Asked if Nadal is getting better, Thiem replied: "Yeah, sure. He also improves and develops his game. I mean, if he didn't do that, for sure he wouldn't have that success every year in this tournament.

"I think that we both got better compared to last year, so my goal is to improve even more until next year and come closer and closer."

The pair played out some incredible rallies during the opening games of the first set, before Nadal pounced to seize the initiative.

Thiem credited an aggressive approach for getting him back into the match but felt like he was "stepped on" by the left-hander in the last two sets.

"I think he played outstandingly, because especially in the first two sets I played very good tennis. What he was performing I think is unbelievable, really," said Thiem.

"There has to be a reason why he's that successful. I mean, he's won 18 grand slams, which is a big number, only two less than Roger. So definitely he's one of the greatest of all time. Today, as well, I saw why.

"I played very good the first two sets, and then I had a little drop, which is against most of the players not that bad, but he took the chance and stepped right on me. That's it. I can only congratulate him on how amazing he performed."

Thiem's semi-final with world number one Novak Djokovic only finished on Saturday after being interrupted the previous day.

"I mean, it was a grand slam final, so I didn't feel tired in the match," he said. "But at the same time, a match like [Saturday], beating Novak over two days with all the interruptions, it leaves traces on the body and also on the mind. That's 100 per cent."

Rafael Nadal's win over Dominic Thiem in Sunday's French Open final extended a remarkable record of his at Roland Garros.

Putting aside the momentous achievement of claiming a 12th Coupe des Mousquetaires, Nadal is now 24-0 in semi-finals and finals at the clay-court grand slam.

Following Nadal's latest triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier, we take a look at the men he has beaten at the business end of the tournament.


6 - Roger Federer (semi-finals 2005, 2019; final 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011)

5 - Novak Djokovic (semi-finals 2007, 2008, 2013; final 2012, 2014)

3 - Dominic Thiem (semi-finals 2017; final 2018, 2019)

2 - Andy Murray (semi-finals 2011, 2014), David Ferrer (semi-finals 2012; final 2013)

1 - Mariano Puerta (final 2005), Ivan Ljubicic (semi-final 2006), Jurgen Melzer (semi-final 2010), Robin Soderling (final 2010), Stan Wawrinka (final 2017), Juan Martin del Potro (semi-final 2018)

Rafael Nadal made history by claiming his 12th French Open title with a stunning 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 victory over Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

No other player has won a single grand slam as often, with Nadal's latest triumph at Roland Garros sending him clear of Margaret Court's 11 successes at the Australian Open.

The 'King of Clay' continued his love affair with the tournament by seeing off Thiem for a second year in succession, earning his 93rd win in 95 matches in Paris.

We look back at how the remarkable Nadal claimed each of his 12 titles to date.


Number One - 2005

A teenage Nadal was among the favourites as he went into his first French Open on the back of a 17-match winning streak. He had already won five titles on the ATP Tour that year and was ranked fifth in the world at the start of the tournament. He beat Xavier Malisse, Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer in straight sets en route to a semi-final against world number one and career Grand Slam-chasing Roger Federer. Nadal had lost a five-set thriller with the Swiss in Miami in April but was triumphant on his 19th birthday to book a place in the final, where he dispatched of the unseeded Mariano Puerta 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 7-5. 

Number Two - 2006

The year got off to a frustrating start for Nadal as a foot injury ruled him out of the Australian Open, but he once more arrived at Roland Garros on the back of a 17-match winning streak. Included in that run were Monte Carlo and Rome final victories over Federer, who he also beat in Dubai in March, and the pair went head to head again in the French Open final. Federer took the opening set 6-1 but Nadal rallied back impressively to retain his crown with a 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph. The long-haired Spaniard had denied the Swiss the chance to hold all four grand slams at the same time.

Number Three - 2007

Defeat to Federer in the final of an ATP Masters 1000 event in Hamburg in May seemed to suggest Nadal's love affair with Roland Garros could be set for a break. The Spaniard had other ideas, though. He marched to the final without dropping a set, defeating Lleyton Hewitt and Novak Djokovic en route, before once more coming out on top on the Parisian clay as one of the sport's greatest rivalries continued to develop. Federer's hopes of being champion of all four majors were dashed by his young rival once more.

Number Four - 2008

Nadal avenged his Hamburg defeat to Federer a year prior with a straight-sets victory over the Swiss, priming him for a fourth successive triumph at the French Open - the Spaniard had also won their previous 2008 meeting at the Monte-Carlo Masters. An utterly dominant display from Nadal saw him surge to the title without dropping a set, overcoming Djokovic in the semis before a sensational 6-1 6-3 6-0 triumph over Federer in the final. Federer may have had 12 grand slam titles in his possession, but Nadal's dominance on clay meant glory at Roland Garros continued to evade him. To rub salt into the wounds, the Spaniard would end the year at the top of the rankings for the first time in his career.

Number Five - 2010

After being handed his first taste of defeat at Roland Garros by Robin Soderling amid persistent knee issues in 2009, a result that enabled Federer to end his long wait to claim La Coupe des Mousquetaires for the first time in his career, Nadal provided the most emphatic of responses. This time he did not have to come up against Federer; instead he faced the Swiss' conqueror and the man who had dumped him out a year prior – Soderling. Nadal did not err against the world number seven, taking the title without dropping a set for the second time after a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win in the final. It was the first of three straight major wins for the Spaniard, whose Grand Slam was completed with victory in the US Open of that year.

Number Six - 2011

Normal service was resumed as Nadal and Federer met in the main event once again. Djokovic had defeated Nadal on the clay of Madrid and Rome, but the Serbian was denied a place in the final by third seed Federer. The Swiss was unable to follow up that victory, though, as Nadal's dominance eventually showed in a 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-1 triumph. They did not meet again at Roland Garros for another eight years.

Number Seven - 2012    

Another great rivalry had begun to emerge with Djokovic having responded to his defeat to Federer in the 2011 French Open semi-finals by winning Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. Nadal was beaten in all three of those showpieces, but he gained vengeance by denying the Serbian in his first attempt to complete a career Grand Slam. The Spaniard had beaten Djokovic in Monte Carlo and Rome and he made it a hat-trick with a 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 victory in Paris.

Number Eight - 2013

Nadal's powerful running was thought to be a major factor behind ongoing knee issues, with tendonitis ruling him out of the 2012 US Open. He sat out the following Australian Open due to a stomach virus, meaning he spent close to six months off the tour. It did not stop him from going all the way at Roland Garros, though. He had put together a 15-match winning streak that included titles in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and extended it to 22 with a straight-sets win over countryman David Ferrer in the final. However, it was an incredible 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 9-7 semi-final success against Djokovic that was the stand-out moment on his way to an eighth title in Paris.

Number Nine - 2014

Nadal began the year with defeat to Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final, but his performance in Melbourne had been hampered by a back problem tweaked in the warm up. The Spaniard went to Roland Garros with just one clay-court title under his belt that year – the Madrid Open – and having gone down to Djokovic in Rome. However, he made history with his fifth straight French Open title outstripping the four in succession claimed by the legendary Bjorn Borg. Nadal comfortably overcame Andy Murray in the semi-finals and fought from a set down to beat Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 in the final, but it would be, by his own stunning standards, a long wait for his next taste of grand slam glory.

Number Ten - 2017

With Nadal having entered his 30s and injury problems continuing to plague him – a wrist injury forced him to curtail his 2016 season in October – questions were asked as to whether he would add to his haul of 14 grand slams. There were promising signs at the Australian Open but Federer, himself having overcome knee and back issues, was too good in the Melbourne final. Nadal was at home on the clay, though. After winning his 10th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona – a feat no other man has achieved in a single event in the Open Era – he completed 'La Decima' at Roland Garros with an imperious 6-2 6-3 6-1 victory over Wawrinka.

Number Eleven - 2018

En route to the final, Nadal extended his record of consecutive set victories at Roland Garros to 37, until Diego Schwartzman claimed the opener of their quarter-final tie. Following an overnight rain delay, the Spaniard was a different animal the next day and recovered to win in four sets before Juan Martin del Potro was beaten comfortably in the last four. Thiem's recent record against Nadal - including a quarter-final win at the Madrid Open in May - prompted some to suggest an upset could be on the cards. Nadal was having none of it. A tightly-contested opening set looked to be heading for a tie-break until the Austrian crumbled at 5-4 down and was broken to love. Although Thiem fought valiantly throughout the second, Nadal was simply too good and, even when battling cramp in his left arm in the third, had enough in the tank to clinch a 6-4 6-3 6-2 win.

Number Twelve - 2019

Nadal and Thiem were back on Court Philippe-Chatrier for a rematch 12 months later. The world number four triumphed in their Barcelona Open semi-final en route to the title in April, but his chances of dethroning the 'King of Clay' were dealt a blow by the fact his semi-final against world number one Djokovic went all the way to five sets and did not finish until 24 hours before the showpiece. Still, he showed incredible intensity during the early exchanges and even earned the first break, but Nadal roared back to seal a stunning first set. An uncharacteristic string of errors from the Spaniard allowed his opponent to get back on level terms, but he ratcheted up his play several notches thereafter and raced to his record-breaking 12th title.

Rafael Nadal tipped Dominic Thiem for future success at Roland Garros after beating the Austrian to secure a remarkable 12th French Open title.

For the second year in succession, Nadal got the better of Thiem in the final on Court Philippe-Chatrier, triumphing 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 to set a new record for the most singles victories by any player at one grand slam.

Although the reigning champion did drop a set on this occasion, he ultimately prevailed with a degree of comfort once again and appears unstoppable in Paris when fully fit.

Nadal will surely have his sights set on further glory at his favourite grand slam, but he backed Thiem to also lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

"The first thing that I want to say is congrats to Dominic and I feel sorry because he deserves it here too," said a magnanimous Nadal on court following his 18th slam success.

"You are one of the best examples that we have on tour, a very hard worker, always with a smile on your face and a good person, that's the most important thing.

"I know how tough it is losing finals, but that is sport and, being honest, if I wanted to lose to someone it would be you, because you deserve it. Keep going – you will win this, for sure."

World number four Thiem, who performed outstandingly in the opening set but still lost it 6-3, was similarly gracious when speaking at the trophy presentation.

"It's tough right now because I gave it everything I had the last two weeks," he said.

"Rafa, well done. Of course I am very sad to lose, but you're such an amazing champion, such a legend of our sport.

"We can be really happy that you are playing. It's amazing, 12 times here, it's unreal. I will try next year again, for sure."

Dominic Thiem was expecting "the ultimate challenge" against Rafael Nadal in the French Open final. That was exactly what he got.

The astounding 'King of Clay' earned a record-breaking 12th French Open title by overpowering the gutsy Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 on Sunday – no other player, male or female, has won a single grand slam as many times.

Thiem and Nadal's long-time rival Roger Federer, who the defending champion beat comprehensively in the semi-finals, were under no illusions about the enormity of the task beating the world number two on the red dirt represents when speaking to the media this week.

World number four Thiem was not up to it when the pair met in last year's final. He was unable to cope with the Spaniard's unforgiving shot making and found himself clinically swept aside in straight sets.

It looked like it could be a different story this time around, but, as he always does, Nadal simply reached a level no other player can match and secured a return to his Roland Garros throne.

Thiem darted around the court at magnificent pace in the first set, returning shots the second seed would normally be turning for his towel after hitting.

His approach made Nadal sweat. The Austrian mixed some of the fiercest groundstrokes with the deftest of drop shots to keep his opponent on his toes.

The pair were consistently embroiled in brutal, punishing rallies. The crowd were on the edge of their seats. They were gasping in awe as seemingly impossible shots crossed back and forth over the net. They shushed one another mid-point, hoping they may help prolong the battle between two masters of the clay. It was enthralling and tiring to watch.

Not many gave Thiem much of a chance, particularly after he had to go through five sets to get through world number one Novak Djokovic in a match that was interrupted three times due to rain and did not finish until Saturday, less than 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the final.

It was the fourth day in succession that he had taken to the court, while Nadal entered the final having played just twice this week.

However, it was Thiem who struck the first blow. A blistering forehand into the corner set up break point and although Nadal was able to loop the next one back, the fourth seed smashed it right past him.

That is not enough against the world number two, though. His pinpoint forehand got the contest back on serve and he charged from well behind the baseline to chase down one of the 25-year-old 's exquisite drop shots and reply with his own for break point. When Thiem failed to stave it off, the first set was effectively sealed.

A score of 6-3 scarcely seemed fair. Thiem must have been wondering at the changeover what more he could have done; in the 95 matches Nadal has played at Roland Garros it will be a question that has been asked by his opponents time and time again, with Robin Soderling and Djokovic handing him his only losses in Paris in 2009 and 2015 respectively.

Unsurprisingly, the intensity dipped in the second set. Thiem performed well behind his own serve but claimed just one point on his opponent's, before the 33-year-old crumbled in the final game and four straight errors put the match back on level terms.

Seemingly annoyed at dropping just his second set of the tournament, Nadal came out with a renewed energy in the third and the man on the other side of the net did not have the reserves to match him. After hitting an incredible forehand pass for his second break, Nadal erupted. An immense roar. A pumping fist. A decisive moment.

Another gear had been found and there was no let up from the relentless Spaniard, leaving an exasperated Thiem with his arms outstretched after a rip-roaring forehand denied him a break.

The unyielding left-hander was suddenly too much for Thiem to handle. The match was taken out of his hands, and into Nadal's, yet again, went La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

The irrepressible Rafael Nadal produced yet another clay-court masterclass to overcome a superb effort from Dominic Thiem and make history with an astonishing 12th French Open triumph.

In improving his win-loss record at Roland Garros to a scarcely believable 93-2 on Sunday, courtesy of a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 victory, Nadal became the first player in history to win a dozen singles crowns at a grand slam event, surpassing Margaret Court's haul of 11 Australian Open victories.

At 33, the Spaniard looked as dominant as ever on Court Philippe-Chatrier and Thiem must have felt there was little more he could do as he was ultimately well beaten in the final for a second year in succession, despite producing some sparkling play of his own.

Thiem, who knocked out world number one Novak Djokovic in the last four, at least claimed a well-deserved set on this occasion after proving more than a match for the 'King of Clay' for the best part of two hours.

However, Nadal simply responded to the setback by racing to victory in ruthless fashion. It remains hard to see how he can possibly be stopped in this event when fully fit.

His third consecutive triumph in Paris means he now has 18 slam titles, just two short of the record 20 claimed by his great rival, Roger Federer. Barring injury, this will surely not be the last time he lifts the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Having eliminated Djokovic in a five-set contest that finished on Saturday following interruptions for rain, Thiem could have been forgiven for starting sluggishly but the Austrian was magnificent in the opening exchanges, his admirable athleticism and court coverage matched by some superb shot-making.

The world number four even claimed the first break of the contest to edge 3-2 ahead, but Nadal – relentless and accurate as ever on his favourite surface – cancelled it out immediately before enjoying further success on Thiem's serve and wrapping up the opening set to strike a hammer blow.

It was tough to find any way back for Thiem, particularly as the reigning champion repeatedly held serve with ease in set two, yet a surprising twist in the tale followed.

Having dropped only one point in five service games, Nadal made three successive errors serving at 5-6 and then put a backhand long under pressure, ensuring the match was back on level terms after an hour and three quarters.

Sadly for Thiem and those hoping for an upset, the underdog's level dipped significantly at the start of set three, allowing a resurgent Nadal – who had left the court upon being pegged back – to swiftly reclaim the initiative with a run of 11 straight points and two successive breaks.

An increasingly aggressive Nadal was at his clinical best as he wrapped up the set in just 24 minutes, and the end was nigh when he won the first three games of the fourth, albeit while being forced to save a trio of break points.

Thiem, whose girlfriend Kristina Mladenovic won the women's doubles title alongside Timea Babos earlier in the day, dug deep to recover from 0-40 in his next service game, but his display of grit only delayed the inevitable.

Nadal is simply unstoppable at Roland Garros. You can make a case for several different players being the greatest of all time, but his dominance of a single slam is without parallel and may never be topped.

Floodlights will be installed on the four main courts at Roland Garros for next year, French Tennis Federation (FFT) president Bernard Guidicelli confirmed.

Guidicelli announced at a news conference on Sunday that next year's French Open will not see matches on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Court Simonne-Mathieu or Court 14 stopped due to darkness.

The FFT president also confirmed the roof will be installed on Chatrier in time for the 2020 edition of the tournament, though there will not be any evening sessions until the following year, when all courts will be equipped with lighting.

"The lighting will be on the four main courts: Lenglen, Chatrier, Mathieu, and Court 14. And for the other ones it's 2021," said Guidicelli.

"All the courts will be lit. It's the last year where matches will end because of night time."

He added: "I confirm that we will be playing with the roof [on Chatrier] in 2020.

"We really want to make this stadium alive throughout the year in a configuration that will enable us to offer the best for the people living close by and the best for the players and the audience during the tournament."

Dominic Thiem will get a second crack at what has proved mission impossible for over a decade when he takes on the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in Sunday's French Open final.

Spanish great Nadal comfortably saw off Thiem in straight sets in the Roland Garros showpiece a year ago and is aiming for a repeat on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thiem upset world number one Novak Djokovic, who was aiming to become just the second man after Rod Laver to hold all four slams at the same time simultaneously on two occasions, in the semis, but acknowledged Nadal in the French Open final is the "ultimate challenge".

To emphasise the size of the task, we have gone through the best Opta facts ahead of an eagerly awaited match-up.

12 – Nadal and Thiem have faced each other on 12 previous occasions, with Nadal winning eight of those. The Spaniard has won all four of their matches at grand slams.

2 – The match sees the first time the same players have met in the French Open final in consecutive years since Nadal faced Roger Federer three years in a row between 2006 and 2008.

18? – Nadal has 17 slam titles to his name thus far. Only Federer has more with 20.

12 – If Spanish great Nadal can triumph it will be his 12th French Open title – twice as many as other player in the Open Era.

3 – The 11 titles Nadal has at Roland Garros is already three more than any male player holds at a single grand slam tournament. Federer is the nearest challenger with eight at Wimbledon.

2 – Thiem is aiming to become just the second Austrian – male or female – to win a grand slam singles title, after Thomas Muster who won the French Open in 1995.

If there is any man that can beat Rafael Nadal on the hallowed clay of Roland Garros, it is Dominic Thiem.

The pair will take to Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday to contest the French Open final for the second successive year.

Nadal blew fellow clay-court specialist Thiem away in Paris last year. A resounding 6-4 6-3 6-2 triumph saw the Spaniard sail to an incredible 11th title in the French capital.

Thiem will hope to avenge that loss and stop the 'King of Clay' becoming the first player to win the same grand slam on 12 separate occasions.

Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten believes the world number four certainly has the quality to lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires, though he does not anticipate Nadal – who ended Roger Federer's first Roland Garros appearance since 2015 with a dominant straight-sets victory in the semis – being dethroned just yet.

"Dominic is already there for a couple of years and I guess he's gonna have it," Kuerten told Omnisport in Paris when asked if Thiem could go all the way at Roland Garros.

"This first step, it's the crucial one, it's the toughest part, but he's gonna get there. He's more than well deserved to win the French Open title. Without Rafa he would have it.

"So I think he's the guy already that if we need to choose one extra French Open champion, [it] would be Dominic.

"And it will happen, but I guess it's still a little bit away – [though] it can happen on Sunday.

"I'm sure we all need to think Rafa is the favourite and Dominic needs to think … the other way around. [People that play against Nadal] will have to convince themselves, be 100 per cent sure that they are able to face him in battle and challenge him."

Thiem has won four of his 11 meetings with Nadal on clay. It may not sound like a lot, but it is the second most of all players to go toe to toe with the 17-time major champion in his red dominion.

The most recent of the 25-year-old's victories over Nadal came in the semi-finals of April's Barcelona Open. Thiem triumphed 6-4 6-4 to reach the showpiece, in which he beat Daniil Medvedev to claim his second title of the year having defeated Federer at Indian Wells.

Both of those successes came after Nicolas Massu, the former top-10 player from Chile who won gold in the singles and doubles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, joined his coaching team.

Thiem credited Massu with helping him get back in shape after tasting glory at Indian Wells and the Austrian needed to draw on all of his energy reserves to overcome world number one Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 in a semi-final that finished within 24 hours of the scheduled start time of the final at Roland Garros.

Lousy weather in Paris means Thiem will finish the competition having played on four straight days, which undoubtedly hands a significant advantage to Nadal. Massu sought to have the final pushed back to Monday in order to give his player a better chance at challenging but was met with an assertive no.

Nadal's losses in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid led to suggestions he was more vulnerable than ever on clay. Those thoughts were tempered by his success at the Internazionali d'Italia and he heads into this year's French Open final with the odds stacked firmly in his favour, though there is arguably no one better to try to put him through his paces.

Ashleigh Barty clinched the French Open women's singles title on Saturday, while Dominic Thiem earned a meeting with Rafael Nadal in the men's showpiece.

Australian Barty claimed her first grand slam crown with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Marketa Vondrousova, while Thiem needed five sets to finally see off world number one Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 in a match that was held over from Friday because of bad weather and then delayed for an hour due to yet more rain.

On the penultimate day of the tournament, Omnisport's man on the ground Tom Webber provides an update from his diary.



Sat in the main interview room alongside La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, Barty spoke well as she took questions from the assembled media.

However, when a French reporter put one of Barty's previous comments to her by attempting to mimic the Aussie's voice, she couldn't let it go.

"That's a terrible accent," she joked, leading to widespread laughs.

Barty still went on to answer the question, but unfortunately did not speak in a French accent as was bizarrely - and hopefully not seriously - proposed.



Top seed Leylah Annie Fernandez wrapped up the girls' singles crown by defeating Emma Navarro 6-3 6-2 on Court 14.

As if that wasn't impressive enough, the 16-year-old Canadian – who was a runner-up in the junior ranks at this year's Australian Open – spoke in three (yes, three) languages in her media conference.

Questions in English, French and Spanish were no problem for the talented left-hander, who has an Ecuadorian father and a mother with Filippino heritage.

Finding storage for her trophy might prove difficult, though, given that her runner-up plate from Melbourne Park resides under her bed!



There has to be a level of almost telepathic understanding between successful doubles players.

Men's duo Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Miez took it to new levels after overcoming home hopes Fabrice Martin and Jeremy Chardy in the final on Court Philippe Chatrier.

After scoring the winning point, the pair fell backwards to the floor and starfished at practically the same precise moment.

If you didn't have the context, you might just have thought the powerful gusts blowing around the court over the past couple of days had got the better of them.

Dominic Thiem will have to down the King of Clay to secure French Open glory, but coach Nicolas Massu insists his man has a chance.

The Austrian closed out an epic victory over Novak Djokovic on Saturday, his 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 triumph unfolding over the space of two days amid rain and high winds in Paris.

Having denied the world number one the opportunity to hold all four grand slams at once, Thiem now faces the even greater challenge of taking on 11-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Massu acknowledged the magnitude of the task but talked up Thiem's hopes of avenging last year's straight-sets loss to the Spaniard. 

"Rafa won 11 times here. I think he's the best player in history on clay," said Massu. 

"I don't know if there's going to be another guy like him. We respect Rafa a lot because, besides his unbelievable talent, he's a great player, a great person.

"It's an unbelievable match for the people, the crowd, for the French Open. The final is between guys that have unbelievable results on clay.

"Dominic understands that if he wants to win, he has to be very focused from the first ball to the last one.

"This was one of the biggest wins of his career, a semi-final against [the] number one in the world, and now he will play the best player in history on clay.

"So, when you arrive to this stage of your career in a tournament, it's because you are doing things well.

"I think that he is going to try to do his best, and I think he has a chance.

"But he plays against the number one in the world of clay in the history, it's true. We will try to do our best."

Novak Djokovic's quest to hold all four majors for the second time in his career was brought to an end by Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-finals on Saturday.

World number one Djokovic triumphed at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018, before adding the Australian Open crown at the start of this season.

The Serbian was hoping to join Rod Laver as the only man in history to win four straight majors on two occasions, but Thiem defeated him 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5 to secure the place opposite Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final.

We look at who Djokovic beat during a stunning 26-match winning run at the grand slams.


2018 Wimbledon
bt Tennys Sandgren 6-3 6-1 6-2
bt Horacio Zeballos 6-1 6-2 6-3
bt Kyle Edmund [21] 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4
bt Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-2 6-2
bt Kei Nishikori [24] 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2
bt Rafael Nadal [2] 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 10-8
bt Kevin Anderson [8] 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3)

2018 US Open
bt Marton Fucsovics 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-0
bt Tennys Sandgren 6-1 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2
bt Richard Gasquet [26] 6-2 6-3 6-3
bt Joao Sousa 6-3 6-4 6-3
bt John Millman 6-3 6-4 6-4
bt Kei Nishikori [21] 6-3 6-4 6-2
bt Juan Martin del Potro [3] 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3

2019 Australian Open
bt Mitchell Krueger 6-3 6-2 6-2
bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-5 6-4
bt Denis Shapovalov [25] 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-0
bt Daniil Medvedev [15] 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3
bt Kei Nishikori [8] 6-1 4-1r
bt Lucas Pouille [28] 6-0 6-2 6-2
bt Rafael Nadal [2] 6-3 6-2 6-3

2019 French Open
bt Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 6-2
bt Henri Laaksonen 6-1 6-4 6-3
bt Salvatore Caruso 6-3 6-3 6-2
bt Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-2 6-2
bt Alexander Zverev [5] 7-5 6-2 6-2

Andy Murray would happily accept his fate if he was unable to play in singles competition again on the ATP Tour, insisting his perspective on the sport has changed.

The three-time major champion is set to make his return from injury in the Fever-Tree Championships doubles draw at Queen's Club this month, where he will partner with Feliciano Lopez.

Murray is now pain-free after suffering from a longstanding hip problem that ultimately led to a resurfacing operation in January and he has not played since the Australian Open, when the emotional Briton received tributes from players and supporters.

While a return to singles action has not been ruled out, Murray would be satisfied with his accomplishments if the dramatic five-set first-round defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut proves to be his last outing.

"It would be nice to, but if I don't, I'm okay with that as well," he told Amazon Prime about the prospect of a singles comeback.

"Ultimately, once I got rid of the pain and I started to enjoy doing other things, fun things with my friends and my family, I'm pretty relaxed about whether I get back on the court competing again or not.

"I've been able to do a lot of things I've not done for a really, really long time without pain like playing golf, even going and walking the dogs. It's fun and enjoyable now, whereas it was pretty uncomfortable for a couple [of] years.

"If the match I played in Australia was my last one, it would be an amazing way to finish as well. It was a great match, brilliant atmosphere.

"In a way it would have been a fitting end because I did sort of struggle. As I get older, especially because of what I have been through the last couple of years, I've realised it's not about winning all the time. It's actually about giving your best effort. That day, I could not have given more than I had."

Murray was touched by the support he received in Australia and has since had some contact with some of the Tour's star names.

The 32-year-old continued: "In Australia, it was a tough time for me because I just didn't know what the outcome of anything was going to be and [I had] the genuine feeling that I might not be playing again.

"A lot of the players around the Australian Open were really supportive and that was nice in what for me was quite a difficult time emotionally, mentally. Since then, a few have reached out from time to time, checking how I'm getting on. I am not massively close with loads of guys in the locker room but there are a few that I get on with really well with.

"I've had a couple of messages from Roger Federer. Stan Wawrinka, he's messaged me a couple of times. Rafa [Rafael Nadal], once or twice – and a lot of the British players as well.

"If I do come back to play, I'm going to have a completely different perspective on things for sure than what I had for most of my career. It will be very different.

"We get to go to amazing places, some of the nicest cities in the world. If I get back to playing I would try to make sure I enjoy the cities a little bit more. I'd be okay with not playing again as well."

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