Can anyone stop Rafael Nadal? It’s up to Dominic Thiem and twice in the last year the Austrian has been up to the challenge, beating Nadal at the Rome Masters last year and then just a month ago in Madrid.
But now he’ll try to do on Rafa’s favorite court and do it in his first career French Open final and in the biggest match of his career.
“I know how to play against him. I have a plan,” Thiem said. “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.”
Rafa is 10-0 in French Open finals and no player with a one-handed backhand has beaten Nadal in best-of-5 on clay!
“On Sunday 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. Good thing is I played a lot of good matches this clay-court season,” Nadal said. “So Sunday is the day to give my best, is the day to increase even a little bit more the level.”
Head-to-head: Nadal leads 6-3
A 10th meeting for 2 players who have only ever faced each other on clay – including twice at Roland Garros, with Nadal winning in straight sets in their 2nd round meeting in 2014 and in their semifinal meeting last year. They have met in 2 finals – both in Spain in 2017, with Nadal winning in straight sets on both occasions.
Thiem is one of only 3 players to have defeated Nadal on clay on 3 or more occasions. Novak Djokovic, who has recorded 7 victories against Nadal on clay, and Gaston Gaudio, who defeated Nadal on clay 3 times, are the only other players to have achieved the feat.
For the 2nd straight year, Thiem is the only player to have defeated Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros. His victory against Nadal in the quarterfinals at Madrid-1000 ended both Nadal’s 21-match winning streak on clay and his streak of 50 straight sets won on clay. It was the first time Nadal had dropped a set on clay since Thiem’s victory against him in the quarterfinals at 2017 Rome-1000.
SUNDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Court Philippe-Chatrier – Play starts at 11:30am
Women’s Doubles final
Eri HOZUMI (JPN) & Makoto NINOMIYA (JPN) vs Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE) & Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) 
Not before 3pm: Men’s Singles final
2 SM F Rafael NADAL (ESP)  contre Dominic THIEM (AUT) 
WEATHER.COM SUNDAY FORECAST
Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then mainly cloudy during the afternoon with thunderstorms likely. High near 80F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
BET AT HOME ODDS
Rafael Nadal 1.21 v Dominic Thiem 4.34
US TV SCHEDULE
NBC will have live coverage of the match starting at 9:00am ET.
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