For the 12th Time, Nadal Lifts the French Open Trophy

Champion dropped a set but recovered
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2019 12:04 PM CDT
For the 12th Time, Nadal Lifts the French Open Trophy
Austria's Dominic Thiem plays a shot against Spain's Rafael Nadal during the men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Rafael Nadal pulled away in what had suddenly become a tight final to beat Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, on Sunday for his record-extending 12th French Open championship. It raises Nadal's Grand Slam title count to 18; Roger Federer has 20. Thiem made it seem as if this one could be much more difficult for Nadal, 33, taking the second set to make it one set apiece. "I gave everything I had," Thiem said. But the No. 2-seeded Nadal reasserted himself there to grab control. He won 16 of the initial 17 points in the third set en route to collecting 12 of the last 14 games. No other man or woman has won as many as 12 titles at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments. When it ended, Nadal dropped to his back on the Paris clay he loves so much, then covered his face with both hands. "I can't explain my emotions," he said.

Ash Barty, 23, won the women's title Saturday in the first Grand Slam appearance. The Australian had taken nearly two years off the sport beginning in 2014, playing for a professional cricket team at home. She beat 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3, per AP. Barty said the left tennis because she needed a break from the pressure and expectations of tennis. She returned, she said, because: "I missed the competition. I missed the 1-on-1 battle, the ebbs and the flows, the emotions you get from winning and losing matches." Vondrousova said Barty mixes things up. "And she has a huge serve," she said. "So it's all, like, very tough to play against." Barty couldn't argue with that. "I played the perfect match today," she said. (More French Open stories.)

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