RAFAEL Nadal has claimed a record-stretching 12th French Open title after a dominant performance against Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the final.
The Spaniard won 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 to claim his 18th major title.
His victory on Sunday also sees him become the first player to win the same grand slam title 12 times, going past Margaret Court’s 11 Australian Open titles.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s incredible. I can’t explain the feeling,” Nadal told the crowd after his victory.
“For me it was a dream to play here in 2005, and I could not imagine I would be back here in 2019. It’s a very special moment for me.
“I want to say congratulations to Dominic. I feel sorry … he deserves it. He has absolute intensity and passion for this sport. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Thiem, despite his heartbreak at another final loss, heaped praise on Nadal.
“I love this tournament with all my heart, I love you people with all my heart,” he told the crowd.
“Of course I am very sad to lose,” he added, before turning to Nadal.
“You are such a legend in our sport we can be really happy you are playing… I will try next year again for sure.”