The King of Clay has done it again.
Rafa Nadal continues to make tennis history and continues to move up the all-time list of major titles in men’s tennis.
The 33-year-old Spaniard and No. 2 seed won his 12th French Open title and 18th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over No. 4 Dominic Thiem. Nadal improved to an almost unbelievable 93-2 in Paris.
Thiem finally took a set off of Nadal, his first in their four matches at the French Open, but that’s a cry from winning a best-of-five-sets match against the greatest clay court player in history. Nadal beat Thiem in straight sets in last year’s French final.
“It’s hard to explain how incredible it is,” Nadal told the crowd in French. “It’s very special to play in Paris in front of my fans.”
Nadal is now two majors shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s mark of 20, and Nadal also put further distance between himself and Novak Djokovic, who rank third all-time with 15 Grand Slam titles. Thiem beat Djokovic in a five-set semifinal that stretched across two days and ended Djokovic’s chances of a second straight “Nole Slam.” Nadal also tied golf legend Jack Nicklaus with 18 majors, the most in that sport.