The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, has won a record-extending 12th French Open title in Paris. The 2nd seeded Spaniard defeated 4th seed, Dominic Thiem of Austria in four sets on Sunday.

Nadal recorded a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory in three hours.

The first set between arguably the two best players on clay this season lived up to all expectations. Nadal and Thiem served up tennis of the highest quality as they battled to draw first blood.

It was the Spaniard who secured the first break of serve. In the eight game of the opening set and then held his own to clinch it 6-3 in 55 minutes. The second set was much of the same. Brilliant baseline rallies were at the order of the day again but this time, it was the Austrian’s turn to strike.

Nadal, however, took no prisoners in the third set. He broke the Thiem serve twice and made the most of the Austrian’s nine unforced errors in the set. Nadal quickly wrapped up the set 6-1 in just 24 minutes to take a 2 set to one lead.

The world number two also pounced early in the fourth. It became clear that Thiem’s epic five-set semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic on Saturday, was taking its toll. The Austrian simply could not match Nadal’s power and precision and the Spaniard clinched the set 6-1 to win his 12th French Open crown against a worthy opponent.

“Congrats to Dominic and I feel sorry because he deserves it here too. I really hope that he will have the chance in the future. He has an unbelievable intensity, an unbelievable passion for the sport and he is a very hard worker. So I just want to congratulate him and encourage him for the future. All the best to you and your team, well done,” says Nadal.

“Rafa, well done of course I’m very sad to lose but you’re such an amazing champion, such a legend of our sport. We are really happy that you are playing. It’s amazing, 12 times here. It’s unreal. I will try next year again, for sure,” says Theim.

It was Nadal’s third consecutive title at Roland Garros and his 18th overall. With the win, he becomes the first player in tennis history, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam singles title 12 times.