Rafael Nadal, hair thinning, legs slowing imperceptibly but genius intact remains unbeatable on the clay of Roland Garros. Not even a spirited challenge by the world No 4, Dominic Thiem, could stop the 33-year-old Spaniard winning the French Open for a 12th time on Sunday, a feat unlikely to be matched in their lifetimes, if ever.
For two sets the 25-year-old Austrian made a proper fight of it. But Nadal responded to the threat by tearing through the final two sets like the wind that has disrupted the schedule over the past few days to win 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in three hours.
“It is incredible. I am very, very happy,” Nadal said. “It is something very special. It is difficult to imagine winning so much in the same place, particularly here at Roland Garros. You cannot say it is a dream, because I never dreamed of such a thing.”