Sunday’s French Open men’s final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem is a matchup of contrasts. Thiem is a rising star who is looking to join the game’s elite with his maiden Grand Slam title (in his first slam final). Nadal is a legendary veteran bidding for an 11th Roland Garros men’s singles title, to help further cement his legacy as the king of clay and one of the greatest the game has ever seen. After two weeks of action Thiem is the last opponent in Nadal’s history making path. Our panel predicts the outcome of the final.
Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem
Yesh: Nadal has looked vulnerable at times this tournament, but Thiem just plays way too far behind the baseline to be able to challenge Nadal over five sets. Get ready for an 11-time champion. Nadal in 4
Glenys: Rafael Nadal is practically unstoppable on clay these days. It’s really hard to see past the Spaniard winning his 11th title at Roland Garros. As good as Thiem is I don’t see him beating Nadal, so I’m going with Nadal in 4.
Steen: Thiem is in tremendous form and he’s earned the right to contest this final. That said, the only player better than Thiem on clay at this moment is the player on the other side of the net, Rafael Nadal. Nadal hasn’t been perfect this Roland Garros ,but he hasn’t needed to be. Thiem won’t be intimidated given the previous h2h wins, but Nadal should still be too good over best of 5 sets. Nadal in 4
Jay: This is the worst Rafael Nadal we’ve seen en route to a Roland Garros final since 2011 while also the best we’ve seen Dominic Thiem ever play in a slam. Whilst I do believe there’s a fair chance nerves might get the better of the Austrian and the Spaniard will up his game, I can’t help but think this is as good of a chance as the 24 year old will get at winning his maiden slam. Given the wet forecast and the fact Thiem has beaten Nadal on clay each of the last three seasons, I’m going for a huge upset. Nadal’s poor play will finally be punished this tournament. Therefore, Thiem in 4.