‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal Wins 12th French Open Singles Title
14 Juin, 2019, 04:41 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
Rafael Nadal now has 18 Grand Slam wins to his name but 12 of those victories are at the French Open where he has proven to be unstoppable over the years.
Even at age 37, Federer is playing well and will fancy his chances again at Wimbledon, while Djokovic will be extra motivated after missing out on a second "Nole Slam" of four consecutive majors by losing to Thiem in the French Open semifinals.
Nadal, now 33, made light work of Thiem, who's seven years younger. That's not the way that I see the life, you know.
"It's a motivation, but it's not my obsession", said Nadal. "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 that happen". This year's "American Swing" was incomplete for him due to a knee injury and later, at the beginning of the clay court season, Rafa's form on clay was also substandard.
"I lost, I think, around 15 or even more Grand Slams in my career for injuries", Nadal said. "Being honest, I never complain much, and I never tried to think about, "Well, I'm going to catch Roger or not".
"I think I managed the situation well", Nadal told reporters later. It's confidence. And having been at a low when he arrived in Barcelona in April, when he admitted his attitude was uncharacteristically negative, he changed things around.
Nadal's latest triumph means he has now won the French Open three times in a row - and his dominance since 2005 is absolutely staggering.
He grabbed the first break of the match to lead the opener 3-2, but four games later it was all over, 6-3 to Nadal. "Being honest, I am not very anxious about this stuff", he said.
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"He knew he had to raise his level in the third set because Dominic might go down a little bit". "It's tough when you receive one (punch), another, and then sometimes you are groggy".
"One possibility would have been stop for a while and recover my body". And the other was to change drastically my attitude and my mentality.
It also gave him an 82nd career title and 950th match win.
"It never gets boring, because every day plays different, every opponent plays different, every guy gives you different struggles", Federer said last week.
"So I just try to be positive, to be intense, and to be passionate about what I am doing".
Nadal won at the All England Club in 2008 and 2010 but his record there since then has been mixed, although he did reach the semifinal previous year. In 2017, he reached the fourth round and lost 15-13 in the final set to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, a defeat that hurt more than most because Nadal thought he was on course to get to another final.
Last year, he lost a marathon semi-final to Novak Djokovic by dropping the last set 10-8. He said: "I have had a very hard year with a lot of physical problems". I have been able to be very close to winning another title there.
"The last two years that I played in Wimbledon, I felt close again".
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