Dominic Thiem can go toe-to-toe with champion Rafael Nadal


It feels like only yesterday that I was here blogging Rafael Nadal against Dominic Thiem in the 2018 French Open final. I'm not saying he's favourite but I do believe he has the game to pose Nadal plenty of problems. Thiem put up a touch of a fight early on, even claiming a rare set from Nadal, but in the end, he learned again what the rest of the world has long known: there's no tougher challenge in all of sports than trying to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros.

Of course, Nadal has had an extra day to recover and prepare.

Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning against Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

The 33-year-old is the first player to win 12 singles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament. The duo will lock horns at Philippe-Chatrier for the Grand Slam Singles title once again.

Rafael Nadal is also the defending champion who will look to lift the Roland Garros trophy for the 12th time.

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Dominic Thiem put up more of a fight than anyone has against Nadal in years at Roland Garros, but it wasn't anywhere close to enough. It was Thiem's first set win on clay against Nadal in 10 attempts, and it marked only the second time Nadal has ever lost a second set at the French Open, the first since 2007.

However the break, combined with a contentious call on the first point after the delay, seemed to reinvigorate something in Djokovic as he amped up his already effective tactic of charging to the net, volleying brilliantly when there.

With Nadal the overwhelming favourite, Thiem refuses to put too much pressure on his shoulders. On that occasion the Spaniard edged a tight first set to win through in straight sets for an 11th Roland Garros title and a 17th major overall. Thiem hopes to win his first career grand slam title, as he's 0-1 in previous final appearances.

Thiem is more than capable of getting the job done here given his success on clay and having the confidence of beating Nadal multiple times on this surface, including the most recent match this year. Djokovic said the playing environment was better when the match continued just over an hour later.