2019 Roland Garros FINAL: Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

Who wins?

  • The KING in 3

  • The KING in 4

  • The KING in 5

  • PRINCE of CLAY in 3

  • PRINCE of CLAY in 4

  • PRINCE of CLAY in 5


Results are only viewable after voting.
If Thiem keeps playing that aggressive game and has confidence in his shots I think he can do it. At the same time on the big stage there are going to be nerves for him and we've seen that cripple the young guy in comparison to the beast Rafa.
 
If Thiem keeps playing that aggressive game and has confidence in his shots I think he can do it. At the same time on the big stage there are going to be nerves for him and we've seen that cripple the young guy in comparison to the beast Rafa.
Thiem can't play aggressively vs. Rafa at Roland Garros, Rafa makes the ball bounce too high, unlike the other clay events.
And Thiem will be nervous, as you said, and I didn't even factor that in until now.
Its a pity Djokovic didn't make it :)
Djokovic would probably get bagelled and breadsticked like at Rome, but at least he wouldn't be nervous......
 
The problem with Thiem is that he can’t take the Nadal forehand on the rise like Djokovic can. Thiem always has to back up big time to hit the backhand and Nadal makes him pay for it. Djokovic is the one guy who can trouble Nadal on clay because he can consistently take the Nadal forehand on the rise without giving up court. You need a great two hander to have a chance.
 
- Nadal is undefeated in Bo5 clay finals
- W/L record is 18-0
- At RG finals, he played 39 sets, lost 6
Team Thiem will try to protect him from seeing such stats. He should just play his game without thinking much. If he starts thinking about how Nadal has been unbeatable in RG finals, it's gonna screw with his head when Nadal is hitting some good shots.
 
Not much of a contest. Nadal is mentally and physically stronger. It is a shame this tournament is a scheduling disaster.
Nadal is not physically stronger than Thiem at this point. I do not know anyone who can hit the ball with more power off both wings like Thiem can. He almost never looks tired. I get worried these days when Nadal is stretched to 5 sets or very long rallies. Just doesn't have the stamina he had in his 20s

Nadal still is the better defender though. One of Thiem's area of improvement easily is his defense. Even at 38, I like Federer's defense more than Thiem's. Dom can get to the balls but is not good at redirecting them from defensive positions. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray are all great at this.
 
This is Thiem's moment. As a Rafa fan I hope I am proven horribly wrong after another routine smashing, but I feel Dominic will have a semi comfortable 4 set win.
Don't make the mistake of underestimating Nadal. Especially in RG. He may no longer be the player he was. He may be slower and older, but he will give everything he has before surrendering his title. Even aging champions can put up a special performance.

I expect the match to be closer than most people say. But Thiem will have to play the match of his life to take down even a diminished Nadal. Can Thiem play even better than he did against Novak? We will find out tomorrow.
 
Nadal is not physically stronger than Thiem at this point. I do not know anyone who can hit the ball with more power off both wings like Thiem can. He almost never looks tired. I get worried these days when Nadal is stretched to 5 sets or very long rallies. Just doesn't have the stamina he had in his 20s.
Very well said. Nadal wins more because of his offense than his defense these days. A lot of players are faster and stronger than the current aging Nadal. Do you recall last year on how Nadal seemed injured and exhausted at the end of the final at RG vs Thiem.

Nadal will have to beat Thiem with offense, transition game and his off forehand. If he is hoping to grind down Thiem and make him tired, that won't happen. But I'm sure that Rafa knows that far better than all of us.
 
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Very well said. Nadal wins more because of his defense than his offense these days. A lot of players are faster and stronger than the current aging Nadal. Do you recall last year on how Nadal seemed injured and exhausted at the end of the final at RG vs Thiem.

Nadal will have to beat Thiem with offense, transition game and his off forehand. If he is hoping to grind down Thiem and make him tired, that won't happen. But I'm sure that Rafa knows that far better than all of us.
I believe you meant to say he wins more with his offense than defense these days. It's true. When his opponent is playing at similar or higher level than him, his defense cannot save him anymore. His game in the past used to be like 50-60% offense and 40-50% defense. It's more like 70-80% offense and 20-30% defense these days. And when he is forced to use more defense, he is in serious trouble. So, expect him to come out trying to dictate the points early to force Thiem to defend more.
 
I believe you meant to say he wins more with his offense than defense these days. It's true. When his opponent is playing at similar or higher level than him, his defense cannot save him anymore. His game in the past used to be like 50-60% offense and 40-50% defense. It's more like 70-80% offense and 20-30% defense these days. And when he is forced to use more defense, he is in serious trouble. So, expect him to come out trying to dictate the points early to force Thiem to defend more.
Absolutely. Thanks. Edited the post.

Yes. The statistics bear what you're saying. Nadal wins far more points that last 5 shots or less, now, than he did before. Conversely , he wins lesser points for rallies lasting 15 shots or more. He usually gets winded and makes a UFE.

Yep. Nadal has to play big tomorrow against Thiem. That is what Moya has been trying to do with Rafa. Have Nadal trust his shot making more than his wheels.
 
Don't make the mistake of underestimating Nadal. Especially in RG. He may no longer be the player he was. He may be slower and older, but he will give everything he has before surrendering his title. Even aging champions can put up a special performance.

I expect the match to be closer than most people say. But Thiem will have to play the match of his life to take down even a diminished Nadal. Can Thiem play even better than he did against Novak? We will find out tomorrow.
I hope I am wrong, but I envision Thiem doing exactly that. If he loses 3 4 3 I will be as happy as anybody.

I have no doubt Nadal will show up to play.
 
I hope I am wrong, but I envision Thiem doing exactly that .
I think you might be wrong to assume that. It is very hard for anyone to play 2 consecutive matches of their lives. What Thiem did against Djokovic was exceptional. It takes a special performance to take down Novak in slams. And Thiem produced that.

I have no doubt that Thiem will be physically fresh for the final. But to ask him mentally to take down 2 ATG players with more than 15 slams is too much. Even if Thiem plays insane tennis, there will come a moment when his mental reserves will fail him and the law of averages would catch up. It's just hard to repeat that level of tennis.

I just cannot see anything other than a Nadal win barring injury or something unusual.
 
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That's what I was thinking too. Except for the fact the final is best of 5, unlike Master's. Though in the past some (or all?) masters used to be best of 5 finals. Indian Wells used to be anyway. Not sure about others.
Thiem desperately has to take the first set.
If he does, I give him a 50/50 shot to win.
If Rafa wins first set, I give him a 95% chance.
Rafa’s already at 75% chance imo. Thiem needs to hit him off the court
 
I think Rafa's the favourite for sure. But I expect a good match from Thiem. Rafa needs to play at the level he showed against Fed.
Thiem has slam final experience already, I think that is huge and means he should be a lot more composed than in last year's final.
 
I think you might be wrong to assume that. It is very hard for anyone to play 2 consecutive matches of their lives. What Thiem did against Djokovic was exceptional. It takes a special performance to take down Novak in slams. And Thiem produced that.

I have no doubt that Thiem will be physically fresh for the final. But to ask him mentally to take down 2 ATG players with more than 15 slams is too much. Even if Thiem plays insane tennis, there will come a moment when his mental reserves will fail him and the law of averages would catch up. It's just hard to repeat that level of tennis.

I just cannot see anything other than a Nadal win barring injury or something unusual]
Exactly! Lots of people underestimate the mental aspects. Yesterday was a brutal day for Thiem. Credits for beating Djokovic but after such an exhausting day of Tennis, beating Rafa in an RG final, probably the toughest task would be too much.

Thiem has done well this year. Won a master's, reached an RG final beating Novak Djokovic.
 
If Tim manages to win this I might just end up trolling the V#mos trolls(Not the good Rafa fans ) so relentlessly that TTW will have to ban me.

Trust me you haven't seen peak Raining yet.



But that won't happen. Nadal in 3. No sets are close except one. Thiem misfires himself into oblivion try to be over aggresive and a patient and crafty Rafa uses the entire court to smother Thiem into submission.
 
I think you might be wrong to assume that. It is very hard for anyone to play 2 consecutive matches of their lives. What Thiem did against Djokovic was exceptional. It takes a special performance to take down Novak in slams. And Thiem produced that.

I have no doubt that Thiem will be physically fresh for the final. But to ask him mentally to take down 2 ATG players with more than 15 slams is too much. Even if Thiem plays insane tennis, there will come a moment when his mental reserves will fail him and the law of averages would catch up. It's just hard to repeat that level of tennis.

I just cannot see anything other than a Nadal win barring injury or something unusual.
What? You are always very pessimistic but suddenly you became optimistic? What happened to you?
 
I watched highlights from their Barcelona match. Omg, that was some SCARY stuff from Thiem. Nadal didn't even play that bad (he was in a slump but he wasn't nearly as terrible as in the matches which he lost to Fognini and Tsitsipas. The only real bad thing he did was hitting too many double faults at the beginning) and yet he was destroyed. If Thiem brings this form it is going to be extremely hard to stop him. Nadal should really learn from this match though. I hope he doesn't rush the net too much because Thiem has some of the best passing shots in the tour. Djokovic also learned that in the hard way.
 
I watched highlights from their Barcelona match. Omg, that was some SCARY stuff from Thiem. Nadal didn't even play that bad (he was in a slump but he wasn't nearly as terrible as in the matches which he lost to Fognini and Tsitsipas. The only real bad thing he did was hitting too many double faults at the beginning) and yet he was destroyed. If Thiem brings this form it is going to be extremely hard to stop him. Nadal should really learn from this match though. I hope he doesn't rush the net too much because Thiem has some of the best passing shots in the tour. Djokovic also learned that in the hard way.
Its actually physically impossible for Thiem to play well at Roland Garros vs. Rafa, because Rafa makes the ball bounce too high for Thiem's backhand, causing very weak replies for Rafa to put away.
Thiem at Barcelona is completely irrelevant, just as Thiem at 2017 Rome and 2018 Madrid was completely irrelevant, because the ball simply doesn't bounce as high on those courts.
Thiem beat Rafa in straight sets on clay, 3 years in a row, and none of it helps Thiem on Roland Garros clay.
If Rafa gets injured, then Thiem can win a set here, otherwise I seriously doubt Thiem will win a set :)

If Thiem was fully rested, like Nadal, it could have been a close match.
Ah, no it was always going to be a beatdown.
Thiem is clueless in this match-up with Rafa at Roland Garros.
In fact its not even intellectual, its more a lack of talent.
Thiem's backhand isn't capable of bossing Rafa on Roland Garros clay.
 
The problem with Thiem is that he can’t take the Nadal forehand on the rise like Djokovic can. Thiem always has to back up big time to hit the backhand and Nadal makes him pay for it. Djokovic is the one guy who can trouble Nadal on clay because he can consistently take the Nadal forehand on the rise without giving up court. You need a great two hander to have a chance.

Isn't the H2H 7-4? Thiem has the game but will he have the nerve. If he shows the nerve then he can "trouble" Nadal.
 
Its actually physically impossible for Thiem to play well at Roland Garros vs. Rafa, because Rafa makes the ball bounce too high for Thiem's backhand, causing very weak replies for Rafa to put away.
Thiem at Barcelona is completely irrelevant, just as Thiem at 2017 Rome and 2018 Madrid was completely irrelevant, because the ball simply doesn't bounce as high on those courts.
Thiem beat Rafa in straight sets on clay, 3 years in a row, and none of it helps Thiem on Roland Garros clay.
If Rafa gets injured, then Thiem can win a set here, otherwise I seriously doubt Thiem will win a set :)


Ah, no it was always going to be a beatdown.
Thiem is clueless in this match-up with Rafa at Roland Garros.
In fact its not even intellectual, its more a lack of talent.
Thiem's backhand isn't capable of bossing Rafa on Roland Garros clay.
This year the bounce is lower than it usually is though. They changed the court a bit.
 
Ah, no it was always going to be a beatdown.
Thiem is clueless in this match-up with Rafa at Roland Garros.
In fact its not even intellectual, its more a lack of talent.
Thiem's backhand isn't capable of bossing Rafa on Roland Garros clay.
A guy that has beaten each of the Big 3 this season has a lack of talent?

Just beat the #1 player in the world yesterday.

 
A guy that has beaten each of the Big 3 this season has a lack of talent?

Just beat the #1 player in the world yesterday.
Here is the talent Thiem lacks: He cannot control his backhand on Roland Garros clay vs. Rafael Nadal.
It is not a question of effort, it is not a question of intelligence or nerve......it is a question of talent, that he lacks.
He is simply not capable.

And Thiem's semi-final was full of the most basic groundstoke errors, despite the wind being easier than what Rafa and Federer faced (when Rafa hit 33 winners and only 19 unforced errors).
It was not a high level of tennis.
If Thiem makes those kind of errors vs. Rafa, it'll be breadsticks :)
 
Domi beginning to get used to big stages. This year already broke the M1000 tabú. He might lose, but he will give a huge fight.
He is confident, he knows how to beat Rafa on clay, he has weapons. He has improved ROS and he has an new coach that knows how to put a positive mindset on the kid.

Thiem in 5.
 
Here is talent Thiem lacks: He cannot control his backhand on Roland Garros clay vs. Rafael Nadal.
It is not a question of effort, it is not a question of intelligence or nerve......it is a question of talent, that he lacks.
He is simply not capable.

And Thiem's semi-final was full of the most basic groundstoke errors, despite the wind being easier than what Rafa and Federer faced (when Rafa hit 33 winners and only 19 unforced errors).
It was not high level of tennis.
If Thiem makes those kind of errors vs. Rafa, it'll be breadsticks :)
It's true that he has to play a clean match in order to beat Nadal. Everyone knows that. His chances are small. You can't go around saying that he has a lack of talent without expecting blowback because it's a pretty outlandish thing to say. I guess Federer lacked talent all those years along with everyone else that couldn't beat Nadal at FO. You didn't use the right words here.
 
Here is talent Thiem lacks: He cannot control his backhand on Roland Garros clay vs. Rafael Nadal.
It is not a question of effort, it is not a question of intelligence or nerve......it is a question of talent, that he lacks.
He is simply not capable.

And Thiem's semi-final was full of the most basic groundstoke errors, despite the wind being easier than what Rafa and Federer faced.
It was not high level of tennis.
If Thiem makes those kind of errors vs. Rafa, it'll be breadsticks :)
It's normal that Djoko will make your game look ugly. It's part of Djoko's strategy and what made him a ATG. Djoko will make Raonic's serve look worst than Nishikori's. But Thiem held the nerve, anf if you tell me, the match was always in control in his way. Thiem always had a positive mindset, and a positive body language throughout the match.
I expect Thiem to have the same attitude today vs. Rafa.

Of course the danger would be a catastrophic begin for Thiem and a fast 3 set match in favor of Rafa, but I doubt it will happen.

Thiem in five.
 
Domi beginning to get used to big stages. This year already broke the M1000 tabú. He might lose, but he will give a huge fight.
He is confident, he knows how to beat Rafa on clay, he has weapons. He has improved ROS and he has an new coach that knows how to put a positive mindset on the kid.

Thiem in 5.
2017 Rome = Thiem 64 63
2018 Madrid = Thiem 75 63
2019 Barcelona = Thiem 64 64

2014 Roland Garros = Rafa 62 62 63
2017 Roland Garros = Rafa 63 64 60
2018 Roland Garros = Rafa 64 63 62
2019 Roland Garros = :)

It's true that he has to play a clean match in order to beat Nadal. Everyone knows that. His chances are small. You can't go around saying that he has a lack of talent without expecting blowback because it's a pretty outlandish thing to say. I guess Federer lacked talent all those years along with everyone else that can't beat Nadal on clay. You didn't use the right words here.
You don't agree with the words, but they are exactly the right words.
Federer always lacked ONE talent, and its the same talent Thiem lacks.....neither have enough talent to hit the one-handed backhand on clay vs. Rafael Nadal.

They are in exactly the same boat, missing that ONE talent.
But Federer had a far better forehand than Thiem, and a far better serve than Thiem, and that is why Federer did far better than Thiem at Roland Garros vs. Rafa.
 
2017 Rome = Thiem 64 63
2018 Madrid = Thiem 75 63
2019 Barcelona = Thiem 64 64

2014 Roland Garros = Rafa 62 62 63
2017 Roland Garros = Rafa 63 64 60
2018 Roland Garros = Rafa 64 63 62
2019 Roland Garros = :)


You don't agree with the words, but they are exactly the right words.
Federer always lacked ONE talent, and its the same talent Thiem lacks.....neither have enough talent to hit the one-handed backhand on clay vs. Rafael Nadal.

They are in exactly the same boat, missing that ONE talent.
But Federer had a far better forehand than Thiem, and a far better serve than Thiem, and that is why Federer did far better than Thiem at Roland Garros vs. Rafa.
Where does one acquire the "talent" to hit balls above their shoulder?
 
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