Five Things To Know About The Men’s French Open Final

Ubitennis looks at the facts and figures behind today's final at Roland Garros.

Dominic Thiem (zimbio.com)

Rafael Nadal will clash with Dominic Thiem on Sunday for a chance to win another French Open title. At stake for both players will be 2.2 million euros in prize money as well as 2000 ATP ranking points. Nadal could become only the second player to win 17 grand slam titles on the men’s tour. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Thiem is hoping to become only the second Austrian in history to win a major title. 

Here are five facts about today’s men’s final at the French Open.

1. Nadal leads their head-to-head

World No.1 Nadal has a 6-3 record against Thiem on the tour, but this doesn’t necessarily tell the full story. The Austrian is one of only three players to have defeated the Spaniard on the clay three or more times. The other two are Novak Djokovic (seven times) and Gaston Gaudio (three times). Furthermore, 2018 is the second consecutive year Thiem has been the only player to defeat Nadal on the dirt prior to Roland Garros.

All of their nine previous meetings have taken place on the clay with two of them occurring at Roland Garros (2014 and 2017). Nadal won both of those. All of their previous matches have ended in straight sets.

Past matches

Year Name Round Surface Winning Player Losing Player Score
2018 Madrid Masters QF Clay Dominic Thiem Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3
2018 Monte Carlo Masters QF Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 6-0 6-2
2017 FO – RG SF Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 6-0
2017 Rome Masters QF Clay Dominic Thiem Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3
2017 Madrid Masters F Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 7-6(8) 6-4
2017 Barcelona F Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-1
2016 Monte Carlo Masters R16 Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-3
2016 Buenos Aires SF Clay Dominic Thiem Rafael Nadal 6-4 4-6 7-6(4)
2014 FO – RG R64 Clay Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-2 6-3

2. Thiem is aiming to join an elite group

Already recording a win over second seed Alexander Zverev earlier in the tournament, Thiem is gunning for the double. Should he triumph in the final, he would become only the ninth man in the Open Era to defeat the top two seeds on route to a major title. The fourth at the French Open.

Since 2000, Stan Wawrinka has been the only player to achieve the double at the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open. Other players who have previously achieved the record are Manuel Orantes, Mark Edmondson, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Michael Stich, Sergi Bruguera.

3. Nadal is a win away from the Undecima

A win on Sunday would give Nadal a record 11th French Open title. Should he do so, he would become the second player and first man to ever win the same grand slam 11 times. The first was Margaret Court at the Australian Open. Only him and Roger Federer has reached the final of the same major 11 times on the men’s tour. Federer achieved his milestone at Wimbledon last year.

Nadal could also become the first player in history to win three tournaments 11 times in the Open Era. He has already achieved the Undecima at tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Years Nadal has won the French Open2005-08, 2010-2014, 2017

4. Youth Vs experience

32-year-old Nadal has the chance to join Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall as the only men to have won three major titles after their 30th birthday. Last year he won both the French and US Open titles. Nadal is already one of seven players on the ATP Tour to have won multiple major titles after the age of 30.

At the other end of the spectrum, 24-year-old Thiem is bidding to be the youngest winner in Paris since Nadal back in 2010.  A win would make him the youngest grand slam champion since Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open.

Grand slam match wins
Nadal – 236
Thiem – 43

French Open main draw wins
Nadal – 85
Thiem – 18

Career earnings
Nadal – $98,001,598
Thiem – $11,093,101

Note: numbers go up to the 2018 French Open final

5. The seedings milestone

It will be only the third time in the Open Era that a top seed (Nadal) has taken on the seventh seed (Thiem) in a major final. The only previous time it has occurred in Roland Garros was in 1992 when Jim Courier defeated Peter Korda.

The top seed has won the French Open 14 times in the Open Era. On the other hand only once has a seventh seed been victorious. That was Jan Kodes back in 1970.

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