Roger Federer is left looking over his shoulder after Rafael Nadal took an astounding twelfth French Open title on Sunday at Roland Garros.
The Spaniard closed to within two Grand Slam victories of the 37-year-old Swiss when he saw off the game challenge of Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in three hours and one minute of ferocious combat at Roland Garros.
At 33 Nadal now has 18 Majors to Federer’s 20, and his most reliable supply of these precious commodities shows no sign of slowing up.
The king of clay court was at his most unforgiving, bar one slip late in the second set when Thiem had the impudence to make it less than a cakewalk.
The Austrian deserves great credit for his efforts this fortnight, and can at least say that this was an improvement on last year’s final, when he managed only nine games.
Nadal said: ‘Congrats to Dominic, I feel sorry because he deserves it, I really hope he wins in future. He has unbelievable intensity and passion for this sport. I want to encourage him.
‘It’s an unbelievable moment for me, I can’t explain it. For me it was a dream to play the first time in 2005.
‘I never thought back then that in 2019 I would still be here so it’s very special for me.’