Six Facts About The French Open Final Between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Six Facts About The French Open Final Between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem

Ubitennis looks at the milestones and records at stake for both men in the final of Roland Garros on Sunday.



Image via

It is a case of deja vu for tennis fans on the final day of the 2019 French Open.


For the second year in a row Rafael Nadal will lock horns with Dominic Thiem for a chance to win the most prestigious prize in clay-court tennis. Nadal has rallied to the final by dropping one set on route. Meanwhile, Thiem has spent an extra two hours on the court and will be playing for the fourth day in a row after poor weather caused havoc with the scheduling during the second week of the tournament.

All the experts are pointing to another Nadal win, but Thiem will not go down with a fight. A lot is at stake for both men and here are six key storylines to watch out for on Sunday.

The perfect 12

Nadal boasts one of the most perfect records at a grand slam in the history of tennis. Since making his debut at the 2005 French Open, the Spaniard has won 92 out of 94 matches. His only losses were to Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015.

Should Nadal prevail in Sunday’s final, he would claim a record 12th title. Becoming the first player – man or woman – in history to do that at the same major. He is currently tied with Margaret Court, who claimed 11 Australian Open titles between 1960-1973.

In the Open Era only one player has won a tour-level tournament 12 times. That was Martina Navratilova at the Chicago Open between 1978-1992.

Thiem hopes to achieve the double

Out of active players on the ATP Tour, Stan Wawrinka in the only one to have defeated both the top two ranked players at the same grand slam. The Swiss player achieved the milestone twice at the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open.

Thiem could join Wawrinka if he defeats Nadal. The Austrian previously defeated world No.1 Novak Djokovic in what was his first ever five-set match played at the tournament in his entire career. Overall, he has a 7-6 win-loss record when it comes to five-set matches.

In the Open era, only eight players have defeated the two two seeds at a grand slam and only three since 1990. Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker are some of the players who have managed to achieve the double.

Nadal’s joins the old-man’s club

Victory at Roland Garros would make Nadal the oldest man to win the title since Andres Gimeno back in 1972. At the age of 33 years and six days, the world No.2 world be the third oldest winner in the French Capital in the Open Era. Gimeno claimed the trophy when he was 34 and Ken Rosewall was 214 days older than Nadal at the time of his triumph in 1968.

Nadal would also become only the fourth man in the Open Era to win four or more grand slams after turning 30. Joining Rosewall, Roger Federer and Rod Laver. Furthermore, he would become the ninth oldest grand slam champion in men’s tennis since 1968.

Thiem aims to emulate Muster

The fourth seed is hoping to become only the second player from his country to win a major title. The only Austrian victory took place back in 1995 at the French Open when Thomas Muster defeated Michael Chang in the final.

Thiem has won 54 grand slam matches so far in his career. The third highest ever achieved by a male player from his country. Muster holds the record at 77, followed by Jurgen Melzer at 59.

Target 950 for Nadal

Should Nadal win, he would become only the fourth player in history to win a 950th match on the tour. Only Federer (1207), Jimmy Connors (1156) and Ivan Lendl (1069) have won more than him.

Victory would also reward the 11-time French Open winner his 260th in a grand slam. Placing him third on the all-time list behind Federer (347) and Djokovic (270).

Nadal’s first ever win was back in 2002 when he was only 15 -years-old. Granted a wild card into the Mallorca Open, he defeated Paraguay’s Ramon Delgado 6-4, 6-4, in the first round. He was then knocked out of the tournament by Olivier Rochus.

Overall, Nadal has a win-loss record of 949-194 before today’s final. This equates to a 83% winning rate.

Thiem’s record

Whilst the odds are against him, Thiem knows what it takes to defeat Nadal on the clay. He has done so on four previous occasions, including this year’s Barcelona Open. To put that into context, only Djokovic has managed to defeat him more times on the dirt.

One of the most impressive things about those victories is the consistency. He has defeated his rival once a year since 2016. However, Nadal does lead their head-to-head 8-4 and, more crucially has won all of their four meetings at grand slam level. Three of which were at the French Open.

The head-to-head

The men’s French Open final will take place at 15:00 local time on Sunday.


Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career



Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.


Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.


Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.


“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

Continue Reading


David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati



David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.


Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”



Continue Reading


Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013



Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.


 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.



Continue Reading