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The 'ultimate challenge'? The numbers behind Thiem's mission impossible against Nadal

By Opta
Dominic Thiem (left) to meet Rafael Nadal in the French Open final

Paris, June 9: Dominic Thiem will get a second crack at what has proved mission impossible for over a decade when he takes on the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in Sunday's French Open final.

Spanish great Nadal comfortably saw off Thiem in straight sets in the Roland Garros showpiece a year ago and is aiming for a repeat on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thiem upset world number one Novak Djokovic, who was aiming to become just the second man after Rod Laver to hold all four slams at the same time simultaneously on two occasions, in the semis, but acknowledged Nadal in the French Open final is the "ultimate challenge".

To emphasise the size of the task, we have gone through the best Opta facts ahead of an eagerly awaited match-up.

12 – Nadal and Thiem have faced each other on 12 previous occasions, with Nadal winning eight of those. The Spaniard has won all four of their matches at grand slams.

2 – The match sees the first time the same players have met in the French Open final in consecutive years since Nadal faced Roger Federer three years in a row between 2006 and 2008.

18? – Nadal has 17 slam titles to his name thus far. Only Federer has more with 20.

12 – If Spanish great Nadal can triumph it will be his 12th French Open title – twice as many as other player in the Open Era.

3 – The 11 titles Nadal has at Roland Garros is already three more than any male player holds at a single grand slam tournament. Federer is the nearest challenger with eight at Wimbledon.

2 – Thiem is aiming to become just the second Austrian – male or female – to win a grand slam singles title, after Thomas Muster who won the French Open in 1995.

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Story first published: Sunday, June 9, 2019, 14:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 9, 2019
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