Nadal Clinches Record 12th French Open Title, Beats Thiem in Final
Rafael Nadal swept to an historic 12th Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Austria's Dominic Thiem.
Nadal is now just two behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 majors and three ahead of Novak Djokovic who was knocked out by Thiem in the semi-finals.
The world number two also took his Paris record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses having previously won the title in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018.
"But he has every chance in the future. He has unbelievable talent for the sport and I want to encourage him for the future,” said Nadal.
Sunday's triumph confirmed the 'Big Three' stranglehold on the Grand Slams having shared the last 10 between them.
It also gave Nadal an 82nd career title and 950th match win.
In a 53-minute first set of brutal hitting and raw physicality, it was Thiem who broke first for a 3-2 lead.
But the 25-year-old's joy was short-lived as Nadal retrieved the break in the sixth game before racing away with the next three games to pocket the opener.
However, the dogged Austrian pushed and pushed, forced Nadal into three rushed groundstrokes and, from nowhere, broke to take the second set.
It was the first set he had managed to take off Nadal at Roland Garros after three previous defeats.
Nadal was riled by the insult.
He swept the first 10 points of the third set, carving out a double break for 3-0 before sweeping to a third break for the set.
He wasted break points in the first and third games of the fourth set and Nadal pounced to stretch to 3-0.
That was soon 5-1 and the relentless barrage continued with Nadal taking the title on a second match point when Thiem fired a return long.