Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem French Open Men’s Final Prediction

The 2019 French Open final is a rematch of the 2018 final, pitting Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem. Thiem, now arguably the 2nd best player on clay in men’s tennis, is still seeking his first slam title, while Nadal is seeking his 12th RG title (and third in a row). Our panelists Steen Kirby, Harsh Bhoot, Jim Smith, and David Adair offer up their predictions for this Sunday final match.

Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

Harsh: A final that won’t come as a surprise to many in what proves to be a rewind to last year’s final. Thiem showed laudable grit to clinch that fifth set something he’ll need in lumps to come out trumps against Nadal. The King of Clay played flawless tennis against Fed and there’s no reason to expect anything less. Thiem has troubled Rafa before on clay and the way he’s been playing it’ll be slightly more competitive than last year but Rafa takes No. 12. Nadal in 4

Steen: Thiem has 4 clay wins (and 7 losses) in his career against Rafa, that record is underwater of course, but it’s a competitive enough h2h to suggest this match won’t be a whitewash like last year’s straight sets win for Rafa, Thiem also won the last clay meeting. The biggest challenge for Thiem has been dealing with Rafa at RG where he’s never taken a set off the Spaniard and lost three consecutive matches. While fatigue may play a factor in his performance, the fact he stood tall and put away a feisty Novak Djokovic in five sets will be a confidence booster. Nadal beat Federer in a match that where the conditions were a bigger challenge than the Swiss legend for Rafa. I still expect Rafa to win but Thiem will get his first set off him at RG in this one. Nadal in 4

Jim: Nadal will surely have been watching as Thiem and Novak Djokovic dealt each other hammer blows for a match that lasted over four hours and spanned two days. It surely leaves him in an even better position than he usually finds himself heading into a Roland Garros final. Thiem has the quality to trouble him at his best, but it is hard to imagine playing anything like his best tennis after his exertions in the semifinals. Indeed, he has not had a day off since Wednesday. Don’t expect much of a contest in this one as a result. Nadal in 3

David: There is nothing much more that can be written about Rafael Nadal’s sheer clay majesty. However, small cracks have been starting to show this clay season. Thiem out-muscled Nadal in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 at the semifinal stage in Barcelona. The Austrian looked poised, comfortable and un-phased by Nadal . A mirroring of that approach tomorrow, could produce the first under 30s Slam holder in the modern game.
I am sure commentators and my fellow predictors will be quick to point out the freshness advantage that Nadal will have over Thiem. This is due to Thiem’s marathon semifinal against Djokoic being played over two days. This is pish-posh: it will not disadvantage Thiem at all. He will be ready for the match tomorrow and knows that this is his moment to write history. Last year’s final defeat to Nadal will have taught Thiem a lot about how to prepare (and how not to) both mentally and physically. Thiem will be ready, Thiem will prevail. Thiem in 4

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Nadal in 3 sets
    why
    best in clay
    thiem has never beaten nadal in a five setter
    the fatigue of two days for thiem may go aginst him while rafa is fresh after two days rest
    mor than anything i love nadal to win his 12 tht crown in roland garros

  2. Nadal in 3 sets
    why
    best in clay
    thiem has never beaten nadal in a five setter
    the fatigue of two days for thiem may go aginst him while rafa is fresh after two days rest
    mor than anything i love nadal to win his 12 tht crown in rolland garroes

  3. To: David

    I’m not even going to waste time with your prediction on Thiem taking out Nadal in four sets tomorrow. I’m going to take that as a joke and nothing more. Because if you’re actually serious about that then that’s a big problem. You might as well stop being an sports editor and start doing something else as a profession. There is a reason why Nadal has won 11 grand slams in RG and why he is considered the king of clay. I’m sure you’ll regret your prediction by tomorrow afternoon when Nadal holds up his 12th RG title. Just next time think very well before you predict against Nadal in RG.

  4. David adair is such an idiot, thiem hasbt had a single rest ay since wednesday, he has played 3 gruelling five setters in the tournament. You talk about how thiem would have learnt from his defeat and work out the things he has to do to beat rafa. But you only talk from his point of view. Look at rafa’s previous matches, the annihilation of nishikori and against federer(where the only thing that kept the first 2 sets competitive was the weather; look what hapoened in the third set when the skies cleared)
    Dont underestimate nadal because he doesnt underestimate his opponents after the defeat to thiem in barcelona he would also have been training to counter thiems game, this is a five set match not a 3 set one. Rafa will prevail.

    • Thiem played one five setter against Novak – first three rounds were four setters, and physically not demanding. Fed was really parallized by the wind, with his early hitting, and Nishikori is just a joke…his knees started shaking as soon as he heard Nadal stepping up the court.

  5. Guys if you’re so sure about Nadal winning in 3, its a great time to place your bets. If I was so sure i wouldnt hesitate. Perhaps putting your house on the line could be very profitable 😉 I wouldnt suggest it. This is a sport and Thiem is no amateur but probably 2nd or 3rd best clay courter in the world after Rafa and there is no way anybody can guarantee anything, cos anything can happen. I hope Rafa gets no.12 and I wouldnt be looking forward to this match so much if I was sure he is going to win it in straight sets. Just hoping we get a super high quality match. Let the best guy win, they both deserve it. Im rooting for Rafa though. Prediction Rafa in 5. Enjoy!

  6. Oh cmon, these little Nadal’s fans.. Thiem can write new history here, and Nadal can win easily. But not be blind and say it’s easy for him prematch. Thiem has their options. 55%-45%.

  7. Hi David,

    Bold Prediction.

    But betting against Rafa in RG, is like committing suicide. One day rest will definitely give advantage to Rafa.

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