‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal Wins 12th French Open Singles Title

For the 12th time, Rafael Nadal is the French Open men’s singles champion.

The longtime Nike athlete defeated Dominic Thiem in the finals today, in a rematch of the 2018 French Open finals. It was much the same story for Nadal, who once again defeated his opponent to add to his total Roland Garros tally. This year, it took four sets (6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1).

With the win, the 33-year-old Spaniard is the first tennis player to ever win the same Slam 12 times. This is his 18th total Grand Slam title, with wins in Paris having come in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018.

Nadal won at Roland Garros for the first time at age 19 and is widely considered to be the best clay player of all time. Ranked No. 2 in the tournament behind only Novak Djokovic, he made easy work of his opponents in the earlier rounds — including a dominant semifinals win over Uniqlo-backed Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action in the Men?s FinalFrench Open Tennis Championships, Day 15, Roland Garros, Paris, France - 09 June 2019
Rafael Nadal wearing the NikeCourt Cage 3 Glove “What The” Rafa during the 2019 French Open finals.
CREDIT: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

Each year, Nadal has worn Nike sneakers on the clay. This year, the pro sported the NikeCourt Cage 3 Glove “What The” Rafa.  The shoe features visual details recalling all the past sneakers Nadal wore to claim victory in Paris. It’s available to shop in limited quantities on Nike.com and in select retailers.

On the women’s side, Australian Ashleigh Barty, a Fila athlete, claimed victory yesterday. It was the first major win for the 23-year-old, who broke a 46-year drought for Aussies in Paris.

Click through the gallery to see more sneaker style on the court at the French Open over the years.

Below, watch tennis legend Stan Smith discuss his eponymous Adidas sneaker.

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