No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem French Open 2018 final live scores, updates and commentary | Nadal beats Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to claim an eleventh Roland Garros title

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 10 Jun 2018
  • Live scores, updates and commentary as Rafael Nadal faces Dominic Thiem in the final of the 2018 French Open
  • Nadal wins an amazing eleventh Roland Garros title as he defeats Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Rafael Nadal is the French Open champion for an eleventh time as he beats first-time finalist Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2: Live scores, updates and commentary on Nadal vs Thiem, live from Roland Garros from 3pm local/2pm BST.


*denotes next player to serve
Key events
13:54 10 Jun

How to watch Nadal vs Thiem live from Roland Garros

17:23 10 Jun

Signing off

17:15 10 Jun

Incroyable, merci

17:13 10 Jun

Thiem speaks

17:11 10 Jun

Tears from Nadal

17:08 10 Jun

Rafa reunited with the Coupe des Mousquetaires

17:05 10 Jun

Ken Rosewall returns to Roland Garros

16:57 10 Jun

The Fedal era continues

16:56 10 Jun

Not a great match, but a great champion

16:49 10 Jun

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

16:45 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 5-2 Thiem - Nadal to serve for the title!

16:38 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 4-2 Thiem*

16:37 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 3-2 Thiem

16:31 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 3-1 Thiem*

16:18 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 2-1 Thiem - Nadal breaks in the third set

16:16 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 1-1 Thiem*

16:07 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 0-1 Thiem

16:00 10 Jun

SET Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3

15:56 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 5-3 Thiem

15:47 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 5-2 Thiem*

15:37 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 4-1 Thiem*

15:34 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 3-1 Thiem

15:29 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 3-0 Thiem*

15:19 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 2-0 Thiem

15:13 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 1-0 Thiem*

15:08 10 Jun

SET Nadal leads Thiem 6-4

15:07 10 Jun

Sobering realities

15:02 10 Jun

Nadal 5-4 Thiem*

14:58 10 Jun

Nadal* 4-4 Thiem

14:55 10 Jun

Nadal 4-3 Thiem*

14:40 10 Jun

Nadal* 3-3 Thiem

14:34 10 Jun

Nadal 3-2 Thiem*

14:27 10 Jun

Nadal* 2-2 Thiem - Thiem saves break point to stay on serve

14:21 10 Jun

Nadal 2-1 Thiem*

14:16 10 Jun

Nadal* 2-0 Thiem

14:12 10 Jun

Nadal 1-0 Thiem*

14:11 10 Jun

Nadal serving to open

14:07 10 Jun

What they're fighting for

14:03 10 Jun

Players taking the court!

13:49 10 Jun

Marchons, marchons

13:45 10 Jun

Pre-match reading

13:39 10 Jun

The head-to-head

13:26 10 Jun

Hope Thiem isn't reading this ...

13:19 10 Jun

Rafa's beaten adversaries

13:10 10 Jun

And we're off

Live blog

13:54 10 Jun

How to watch Nadal vs Thiem live from Roland Garros

Here's how you can watch and bet on this match live from Roland Garros:


2. Sign in or open an account

3. Make sure your account is funded


5. Enjoy the match!
17:23 10 Jun

Signing off

From Marco Trungelliti to Marco Cecchinato and his 20-minute tie break against Novak Djokovic to Alexander Zverev battling his way through five-setters to Dominic Thiem making his first final, what a French Open it's been. 

But the day as always belongs to Rafael Nadal. Eleven times a French Open champion. What a show we get to watch year after year. 
17:15 10 Jun

Incroyable, merci

'Well done to Dominic and to all your team,' Nadal starts. 'It's been an honour to play with you this final, you are great player, better person. I'm sure you'll win here very soon,' he lies.

Nadal thanks his team and talks about some tough moments at the beginning of the year, when a knee injury took him out of the Australian Open and kept him out. 

Then he switches to French - I don't follow it all, but the words 'incroyable' and 'merci' keep returning.
17:13 10 Jun

Thiem speaks

The disappointed (and disappointing, if you listen to Ken Rosewall) Austrian calls Nadal's eleven titles 'one of the most amazing things achieved by any athlete in any sport'.

In tones of utter abject misery, Thiem talks about being 11 when Nadal first won in 2005 and watching on TV and saying how happy he is. 

He ends with a joke, promising the next time he's here he'll speak in French.
17:11 10 Jun

Tears from Nadal

Not often we see this, but tears from Rafael Nadal as he stands holding his trophy and the applause round Philippe Chatrier rolls on and on. 

He's got plenty of time to recompose himself, though, as the Spanish national anthem begins.
17:08 10 Jun

Rafa reunited with the Coupe des Mousquetaires

For the eleventh time, he lifts it high above his head. 

It's so difficult to comprehend the scope of Nadal's achievements at this tournament and on this surface. What do you say about the man who keeps redefining greatness?
17:05 10 Jun

Ken Rosewall returns to Roland Garros

So in the end, Dominic Thiem falls just short of the ten-game record set by Robin Soderling. 

Australian champion Ken Rosewall, winner of the first 'Open' French Open, is here to present the trophy. 'I'm very pleased I'm not playing today,' he jokes when asked to comment on the final. 'No words can express what we feel about Rafa's game, and what he's done for the sport on a worldwide basis.'

He calls Thiem 'a little bit disappointing'. Ouch. 
16:57 10 Jun

The Fedal era continues

Everybody can now hit 'send' on those congratulation & stat tweets they've been lining up. 

I like this one ...


16:56 10 Jun

Not a great match, but a great champion

A strange and tense to the match, and Thiem should rightly regret letting Nadal off the hook at the end. But the Austrian was pretty demoralised from having played two great sets and having nothing to show for it. 


16:49 10 Jun

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Nadal wins his 100th point of the match to put himself three points from the French Open title.

30-0 as he pummels the Thiem backhand to get the error.

Three championship points with a service winner. 

Thiem staves off the first as he stands up well to central pressure and Nadal misses a backhand down the line.

Then Nadal throws in a forehand drop shot that's not good enough - Thiem scampers up to it and pokes it into the corner. 

And make that a third match point gone begging as Nadal frames a backhand wide from deep.

This is a tight, worried Nadal, make no mistake - he wants to close this out before it can rain or before whatever is going on in his hand gets any worse (word is that the wrist tape was too tight). 

A long, long rally - but Nadal defends like the demon king he is, and Thiem eventually gives up the error for a fourth championship point! 

Again, Thiem stands up well to get the backhand error though for deuce - but the Austrian fires a forehand wide and it will be a fifth championship point for Nadal.

Thiem's return is long and Nadal is the French Open champion once again!
16:45 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 5-2 Thiem - Nadal to serve for the title!

Thiem must, must put some pressure on Nadal if he is to prolong this match, and going down 0-30 is not a great start.

He finds an ace for 15-30, but Nadal lands a timely and perfect forehand drop shot for 15-40. If he breaks here, he'll be serving for the match and then the skies can open to their hearts' content as far as the King of Clay is concerned.

And Nadal does break. After two hours and 33 minutes, with the trademark curving forehand ball down the line, he'll serve for an eleventh French Open title.
16:38 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 4-2 Thiem*

Nadal has indeed called the trainer and he is getting a vigorous left forearm massage as he continues to gulp down water and minerals.

So five games in, Nadal is two sets and a break up, but obviously he is suffering a little physically. Can Thiem take advantage? Extend the rallies?

Nadal ends a 19-shot rally with an inside-in forehand down the line winner for 15-0, and takes advantage of insufficiently purposeful hitting of Thiem to crank another forehand winner for 30-0. 

There's a stir around Chatrier as the sky has suddenly darkened - thunderstorms were predicted today, but not until after 6pm local (it's getting on to that time now). 

Nadal is swiftly up 40-0, and holds to love for 4-2 as he darts into net. 
16:37 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 3-2 Thiem

Thiem holds to love and Nadal can now call the trainer - let's see what happens.
16:31 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 3-1 Thiem*

Finger cramp ...?! 

Nadal is up 30-0 as he serves to consolidate, but he goes to his chair and says something to the umpire about his finger - he cannot move a finger on his left hand?

The trainer is out looking at his left hand and now forearm - could the tape on his fingers be too tight? The wrist tape he put on there to soak up additional sweat?

Nadal gulps down fluids and what looks like some minerals, so it does indeed look like it could be cramp. 

Having had the wrist tape removed, Nadal resumes the match and promptly moves 40-15 up with a slick forehand volley. Shortening the point. 

Thiem wants to make Nadal work hard, but instead he pushes the forehand long.
16:18 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 2-1 Thiem - Nadal breaks in the third set

Thiem has got eight games in this final so far - where does this put him on the all-time list of Nadal's beaten opponents in French Open finals?

He's done better than Roger Federer 2008 (four games) and Stan Wawrinka 2017 (six games), and tied David Ferrer 2013 (eight games). Robin Soderling 2010 was the man who's got the most games from Nadal in a straight-sets French Open final - ten. 

Can Thiem get to nine games by holding serve here? Well, he's been pegged to 30-30 - and Nadal has a break point here as he steps in for a big forehand winner. 

Thiem saves it with an elegant backhand drop shot winner for deuce, and absolutely pulverises forehands into both corners to open up the court for a winner for game point. He tries the same play on the next point, but Nadal reads the inside-out forehand and is there for the forehand winner down the line for deuce. 

A big serve from Thiem for game point - but a devastating inside-out forehand winner from Nadal (92mph while moving BACKWARDS, thank you very much) for a third deuce. Thiem buries a forehand in the net - very much a forced error - for a second break point. And Rafa converts as Thiem is driven into a desperate forehand defensive slice, which drifts just wide. 
16:16 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 6-3, 1-1 Thiem*

Nadal takes a 30-15 lead with a slick net attack, and he's up 40-15 as Thiem lunges in and misses from behind the baseline. A quick hold from the Spaniard.
16:07 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 6-3, 0-1 Thiem

Only two men have ever beaten Nadal when he's won the first two sets: Roger Federer in Miami, and Fabio Fognini at the US Open. You'll notice neither match took place on clay, or at Roland Garros.

Thiem serves to open the third set - a set which feels like the most formal of formalities - and begins by losing a 20-shot rally, before Nadal steps in for a backhand winner down the line for 0-30. He's swiftly up 0-40.

Thiem staves off the first break point with a perfect one-two punch, serving wide and then hammering an inside-in forehand winner down the line at 90+ mph, as you do. As he does. 

Another good serve and Thiem comes in, forcing the pass error for 30-40 - and he approaches the other way to save the third break point, only to give up the fourth as his forehand shades wide. 

Thiem saves a fourth break point with a good serve as the match clock ticks over to two hours exactly, and then manages to land a superb volley winner off a high Nadal pass attempt. Great scrapping from the Austrian - you absolutely can't fault his effort level in this match, or, really, his tactics. Or his fitness. Nadal has simply been too good. 

Stunning backhands from Thiem to hold, though, and he's on the board in this third set. 
16:00 10 Jun

SET Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3

Nadal, serving for the set, takes a 30-0 lead as Thiem completely misjudges a return, but fires a forehand long down the line on the run for 30-15. 

Another excellent, swerving serve gets a Thiem return which Nadal can neatly polish off, and the ten-time champion is two-thirds of the way to an eleventh French Open title as Thiem's backhand goes wide down the line. 
15:56 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 5-3 Thiem

Thiem serving to stay in the set now, and to give himself a chance to serve to open the third set if he can force Nadal to have to serve this one out.

His backhand flies for 15-15, but he runs around for a forehand inside-out cross-court forehand winner for 30-15. A first game point goes begging with a backhand error, but he holds with a service winner and after 45 minutes of this set, Nadal will serve for it.
15:47 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 5-2 Thiem*

Thiem holds swiftly to love for 2-4, and then lands a 92mph forehand winner to get to 0-15 on the Nadal serve. 

He's well into the rally on the next point - but Nadal hits an astonishing forehand that dips right on the line like a striking cobra for 15-15. Then another forehand winner that hits the sideline and sizzles away sideways like a sidewinder missile. 

Finally some of Thiem's hard work pays off as he forces a Nadal forehand down the line wide for 30-30.

After going over 25 seconds between every point for the entire match, Nadal is randomly handed a code violation for it. Which actually ends up giving him more time, not that it helps too much as Thiem produces some lovely racquet-work for break point. 

The break point is saved as Nadal puts a drop shot right on to the line - Thiem chases it down, but can't get enough on his riposte to prevent Nadal chasing it down for a winner. Deuce. 

It works so well he does it again for game point, and holds. A heartbreaker for the Austrian. Another one. 
15:37 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 4-1 Thiem*

Thiem pops in a short backhand slice and gets a Nadal forehand long for 0-30 - but the rally that follows is a heartbreaker, a gutbuster, a defenestrator. Thiem throws everything at Nadal and Nadal catapults it back, ending a 17-shot rally with a winner. 

The Thiem backhand flies for 30-30 and Nadal has game point - but Thiem relieves a little frustration by slapping a clean forehand winner down the line off the Nadal second serve. It doesn't change the course of events, however, as Nadal holds two points later.
15:34 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 3-1 Thiem

It's amazing how much this match feels 'over', even though it's actually only a set and a break. Simona Halep came back from a set and a break down yesterday and that was best of three. 

If Thiem is to salvage something, he's made a good start with a hold to love to get on the board, highlighted by a fourth ace and a backhand winner. 
15:29 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 3-0 Thiem*

When Nadal broke to lead 2-0 in the first set, he was broken straight back and we at least got an entertaining set, so fingers crossed.

The two split points to open the game, but Thiem misses a short backhand down the line in what looks like rather a tired mistake. Don't get me wrong, Thiem can pound away for hours but the mental steel this requires is ... a lot. 

The Austrian misses a forehand and Nadal has two points for a 3-0 lead - and batters away with a forehand to take that commanding position.
15:19 10 Jun

Nadal* 6-4, 2-0 Thiem

So what does Dominic Thiem do now?

For my money, he needs to keep doing exactly what he was doing in the first set and just trust himself to do it better. Changing tactics too much would be disastrous. Even the low first-serve percentage is understandable - if Thiem takes much off that shot to try to get it in, he won't win much behind it. 

Nadal is swiftly up 0-30 as Thiem misses a backhand wide, but the Austrian lands a smash for 15-30.

Nadal attacks the net and absolutely knifes a backhand volley behind Thiem for two break points - truly one of the greatest volleyers in the men's game, if not the greatest.

Thiem fends off one break point with a great second serve, then another strong serve sets him up to finish the point at deuce. Nadal pummels his backhand though for a short ball that lets him to force a third break point, but Thiem's forehand comes to the rescue.

Thiem lands his third ace of the match for game point, and it would bode well for a competitive set if he could get out of this game - but he's not out of it yet as he throws in his fourth double fault. And Nadal will have a fourth chance to break as a mishit forehand forces Thiem into a weak backhand. 

The game is into the eighth minute as Thiem saves himself with a good serve, but a defensive sliced backhand into the net under a forehand barrage gives up a fifth break point - and Thiem's backhand flies. 
15:13 10 Jun

Nadal 6-4, 1-0 Thiem*

So, Thiem has lost the first set that everybody agreed he absolutely had to win to have even the slightest chance of winning this match. Nadal is 95-0 when winning the first set, on clay, in a best of five match. 95-0.

Nadal pops off court for a comfort break, making Thiem sit and stew in his own acid bath of failure.

The Spaniard will serve to open the second set - he misses a backhand off a good return for 15-15, but is up 30-15 as he attacks the net, then yanks Thiem in with a drop shot and closes the net to force the Austrian to go for a very tricky angle and miss wide. A very solid hold to 15. 
15:08 10 Jun

SET Nadal leads Thiem 6-4

Thiem missed a couple of crucial volleys to get himself into trouble against Marco Cecchinato in the semifinals, and he's missed one here to give Nadal a 0-15 foothold in this 4-5 service game. 

A forehand error lets Nadal in 0-30 and the Spaniard is two points from the first set. 

Make that one point - Nadal pummels Thiem's backhand and the Austrian misses his forehand down the line. Three set points. 

And a wild forehand error gives up the first set after 57 minutes.
15:07 10 Jun

Sobering realities

... For Thiem as he's trying to serve to stay in the first set. 


15:02 10 Jun

Nadal 5-4 Thiem*

Very much the business end of this first set.

Nadal opens his game with a stunning, venomous, downright spiteful forehand winner, his fourth of the match - but it's an awkward, off-balance double fault, his first, for 15-15. 

Thiem's backhand return just shades long to put Nadal up 30-15, and although he hits a great return on the next point, he can't gain any traction and Nadal ends up with a forehand winner off a defensive slice for two game points. And holds with a service winner. Thiem hangs his head. 52 minutes in and he's about to have to serve to stay in the set - and holds of serve have not been easy for the Austrian so far. 
14:58 10 Jun

Nadal* 4-4 Thiem

The overwhelming consensus is that Thiem simply has to win this first set to have a chance at winning the match, because once Nadal gets on top of you (so to speak) he isn't getting off (if you'll pardon the expression). 

Thiem's service games have been such odysseys and iliads, but he's swiftly up 30-0 in this one with a jumping backhand, then an ace for 40-0. He double faults for 40-15, but lands a fantastic forehand down the line winner for what feels like his first quick hold of the match.
14:55 10 Jun

Nadal 4-3 Thiem*

42 minutes in to this one and only six games played. Nobody's getting any free points on their serve. 

Nadal looks set for an easier hold here, though, as he lands a big forehand win for 30-15 and then an exceptional defensive shot drops on the line for 40-15, forcing Thiem to attempt the tweener (with a signal lack of success). 

And Nadal holds quickly with a service winner. 
14:40 10 Jun

Nadal* 3-3 Thiem

Thiem and Nadal split the first two points, but Thiem injects pace with the cross-court forehand for 30-15. Nadal hits right back for 30-30 though as Thiem nets the forehand down the line he's forced to make.

Thiem mishits a forehand and it loops high but it works for him, ending up giving him time to set the inside-out cross-court forehand and then put the winner inside-in down the line with Nadal camped out in the opposite corner, anticipating the cross. And the Austrian holds - no, wait, he doesn't! 

The umpire is down and announces that the ball Thiem let past is on the line, so it's deuce. Thiem is not happy. 

Nadal grimaces as he misses a backhand return wide - but Thiem is yanked back to deuce as the netcord carries his cross-court backhand out. 

A testing game for the Austrian now - he cranks up the forehand to well over 100mph again to get to game point, but Nadal smartly wrongfoots him to get a high short ball he can put away in the open court. That's a play to keep an eye on. 

Nadal can break right here - but Thiem sees him off with a very good rally as the game climbs past nine minutes. The Austrian handled a netcord brilliantly, turning it into a slice exchange, and working himself to a point where can unleash the short-angled forehand.

Good work from Thiem, but he's in trouble again as he can't find a first serve, his percentage down under 50% as he goes for so much on that first delivery - Nadal misses down the line, though.

These service games are turning into mini-epics. We're into the 12th minute of this one. A 17-shot rally ends with a fantastic drop shot and volley flick down the line for Thiem get him to game point though for the first time since he thought he'd won the game - and the Austrian finally holds.
14:34 10 Jun

Nadal 3-2 Thiem*

So, battle has been well and truly joined. 

Thiem has a real chance at 15-15 as Nadal puts in a very high, telegraphed drop shot, but the Austrian goes right back to the Spaniard instead of into the open court and Nadal lands a lob. 

An encouraging development for Thiem, though, in that Nadal was the one who bailed on the baseline rally instead of backing himself to outlast and overpower his opponent.

Nadal misses a forehand for 40-30, but holds to edge ahead after 25 minutes.
14:27 10 Jun

Nadal* 2-2 Thiem - Thiem saves break point to stay on serve

Back on serve and Thiem wins his second point on his own serve of the match with an 105mph forehand winner, but double faults to 15-15.

A tremendously heavy forehand from Nadal gets him to 15-30, but Thiem dictates with his own heavy forehand to 30-30. 

Game point for Thiem with a service winner - but he double faults himself back to deuce. Clearly a very fine line to walk between being aggressive on the second serve and over-pressing. 

Nadal will have another point to break as Thiem puts a backhand drop-shot attempt into the net - two big unforced errors here to allow Nadal back into the game. 

Break point saved with a big serve to the Nadal backhand, and Thiem whip-cracks an ace down the T for game point.

Again, though, he's pegged back as Nadal puts height on the backhand to push Thiem back off the baseline, then injects pace with a cross-court backhand into the open space.

A strong serve for game point - and Thiem holds as Nadal frames a forehand. 
14:21 10 Jun

Nadal 2-1 Thiem*

Thiem gets just his second point of the match with a big forehand down the line as Nadal serves to consolidate the early break - but completely mistimes running around his backhand for a second-serve return for 15-15.

A small error from Nadal, though, for 15-30 - and Thiem plays his best point so far! A sizzling sequence of forehands cross-court, sharpening up the angle and landing a winner for two break points. 

Nadal saves the first break point as Thiem shanks on the forehand - but on the second break point a Nadal mishit backhand lands short, and Thiem is swiftly up to it to put the ball away. Back on serve!
14:16 10 Jun

Nadal* 2-0 Thiem

The conditions are extremely heavy and humid today, with thunderstorms predicted later on - and Thiem is quickly sweating for more reasons than one.

He goes down 0-30 as Nadal lands a forehand drop shot, something he employed with great success against Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals.

But Thiem outlasts him in a lengthy rally and has his first point as Nadal's backhand goes long. 

He's down 15-40 though as he sets himself up to finish the point with a forehand down the line, but pushes it long. And he buries a forehand down the other line into the net to go down an immediate break.
14:12 10 Jun

Nadal 1-0 Thiem*

Nadal has had a problem all fortnight with slow/nervous starts so it will be interesting to see how he goes in this opening service game - potentially not a bad ploy for Thiem to put his opponent in to serve first.

But Nadal has the first point on the board as Thiem's backhand shades wide. The Austrian sees a second serve on the next point but has a rush of blood to the wrist and puts an aggressive forehand long - notable that he is standing very close to the baseline to receive today. Has not been his tactic so far this fortnight.

Another second serve, and this time Thiem drops back, but he's not getting great depth and a searing cross-court backhand from Nadal gets a defensive error long.

The Spaniard beetles into the net and closes out an emphatic hold to love with a forehand volley. That was not a nervous start.
14:11 10 Jun

Nadal serving to open

Vamos vs bamos. Let's go. 
14:07 10 Jun

What they're fighting for

Here it is - the Coupe des Mousquetaires, as presented by the stunning Lea Seydoux and ... some old guy.

Will it be snuggling lovingly into the arms of an old friend - or heartlessly deserting its faithful lover for pastures new?
14:03 10 Jun

Players taking the court!

The formalities are (almost) over and we have our gladiators!

Thiem is already at net as Nadal futzes with his bottles in ritual fashion.

The Austrian wins the toss and elects to receive.
13:49 10 Jun

Marchons, marchons

There's currently quite an amazing ceremony on Court Philippe Chatrier as French veterans and tennis authorities and others celebrate the life and death of Roland Garros, for whom the entire complex is named.

Garros was not a tennis player - he was a pioneering aviator, and a war hero who smuggled crucial information to the French authorities in the handle of a tennis racquet. He died in 1918 and his friends petitioned to have this new tennis complex in Paris named after him.
13:45 10 Jun

Pre-match reading

We've got just 15 minutes to go before the French Open final begins.

Still time to check out some more of our expert analysis! Andrew Hendrie has been digging into the clay-court rivalry between these two.

And here's my own take on the match - which basically says Nadal is going to win and why. Sorry Domi.
13:39 10 Jun

The head-to-head

Famously, the man who suits up across the net from Rafael Nadal today has at least beaten him on clay before - three times, in fact, although Nadal still leads the overall head-to-head 6-3. 

Thiem is the only man to have beaten Nadal on clay in 2017-18, and he won their last encounter, beating Rafa in Madrid 7-5, 6-3. 

On the other hand, Thiem had also won their most recent encounter before they faced off at last year's French Open, and he lost that one 3-6, 4-6, 0-6.

Thiem knows all this, of course. He also knows that nobody has beaten Nadal in a French Open final, and that he himself has never beaten Nadal in a best-of-five sets match.

'I know how to play against him. I have a plan. If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid. But I'm also aware that here it's tougher. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure. Best of five is also different story.'


13:26 10 Jun

Hope Thiem isn't reading this ...

... because we've got more bad news for him: Nadal says he can take his game to an even higher level than it has been so far throughout the tournament:

'I have a very difficult match against a player that is playing great. I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances. [The] good thing is [that] I played a lot of good matches this clay-court season. So Sunday is the day to give my best, is the day to increase my level even a little bit more.'

In fairness, there are aspects of Nadal's game that haven't been quite optimal. His forehand has been a bit erratic throughout this whole clay-court season (although that's actually just made his backhand better, as beaten semifinalist Juan Martin del Potro pointed out) and he's made some slow, nervy starts, notably in the quarterfinals against Diego Schwartzman and the semifinals against del Potro - as the man himself says, he's just a 'human person'.

Coach Carlos Moya said he had a plan to address the second aspect though: Relax Nadal by playing Spanish board game parchis with him, and let Rafa win. Sneaky but that's what you get from a former world no. 1. 


13:19 10 Jun

Rafa's beaten adversaries

Pour one out for the six men who, in the course of ten previous French Open finals, have tried and failed to beat Rafael Nadal. Can you name them all?

Four of those ten finals have been straight-set victories for Nadal - against Roger Federer in 2008, Robin Soderling in 2010, David Ferrer in 2013 and Stan Wawrinka in 2017. One of his most emphatic wins came just last year against Wawrinka, when he dropped just six games (to be fair, Wawrinka would then barely play for the next year as he went through two knee surgeries). But the prize for the biggest beatdown goes to Federer, who got just four games against Nadal in 2008.

Not once - not once! - in those ten finals has Nadal been taken past four sets. That's the task facing Dominic Thiem today.
13:10 10 Jun

And we're off

Welcome to our live blog for the 2018 French Open men's singles final!

We're just under an hour away from Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem - the King of Clay taking on the man who most people consider his heir apparent. 

Will Nadal extend his reign at Roland Garros with a frankly absurd eleventh title? Or can Thiem score one for the young(er) guys and become the first man to beat Nadal in a French Open final?

We - that is to say I, Hannah Wilks, chief editor here and also known as @newballsplease - will be here for every ball of it, typing frantically and with lots of exclamation marks. So join us - won't you?


(geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

The Coupe des Mousquetaires awaits - will it be going back to the arms of old friend Rafael Nadal, who has kissed (and lovingly bitten) it an astonishing ten times before? Or could it meet a new man in the form of powerful Austrian Dominic Thiem, into his first Roland Garros final?

Champions have been crowned in all the other disciplines at the 2018 French Open, among them home favourites Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men's doubles, new Czech pairing Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova in the women's doubles and in the women's singles, two-time finalist Simona Halep finally breaking through to claim her first Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after a brilliant duel with Sloane Stephens that left the men's final a lot to live up to. 

But one champion is still to be decided, and that's the winner of the French Open men's singles in 2018. 

Rafael Nadal was always going to be here. Champion at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Rome Masters during April and May, the Spaniard has been in the final of the French Open ten times between capturing his first title as a teenager in 2005 and his triumphant return to the podium after two years away in 2017, and although he flirted light-heartedly with being challenged throughout the tournament, the King of Clay is once more in his throne room on the final Sunday. And he's dropped just one set in the process. Although Nadal has had a bit of a problem with slow, nervy starts throughout the fortnight at Roland Garros - as he says himself, he's just a human person - he has rarely been made to pay for it, beating Simone Bolelli in straight sets and Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals despite facing six break points in the opening set. Only diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals was able to make Nadal pay for his slow start - and that only with a first set of extraordinary, red-lining aggressive shotmaking that he could not possibly sustain for the best of five sets.

Unlike Schwartzmanm however, Nadal's opponent in the French Open final has beaten him before and (hopefully) believes he can do it again. Dominic Thiem's powerful, muscular game shines to its best advantage on clay and he has justifiably been compared to 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. A semifinalist at the French Open in 2016 and 2017, losing to Novak Djokovic and Nadal respectively, Thiem comes into the Roland Garros final on a ten-match winning streak after winning Lyon in the warm-up, having decided that a runner-up appearance at the Madrid Masters (where he beat Nadal) was not enough. 

Thiem has dropped sets here and there throughout the tournament, but he's also beaten some impressive players - Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev among them - before ending the Cinderella run of surprise semifinalist Marco Cecchinato in straight sets. 

The Austrian has beaten Nadal three times in their nine meetings, and all three victories have come on clay - and that's no small achievement. Thiem says the keys to beating Nadal are self-belief and relentless aggression, but he also points out that he's never beaten Nadal at Roland Garros - only two men have, after all - and never in a best-of-five sets match. But he also belueves that all the pressure is on Nadal. Could he be the first man to beat the King of Clay in a French Open final?

Join us for live updates, scores and commentary on the 2018 French Open men's final, live from 3pm local/2pm BST.


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem French Open 2018 final live scores, updates and commentary | Nadal beats Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to claim an eleventh Roland Garros title

Rafael Nadal is the French Open champion for an eleventh time as he beats first-time finalist Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2: Live scores, updates and commentary on Nadal vs Thiem, live from Roland Garros from 3pm local/2pm BST

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages