Rafael Nadal looks borderline unbeatable at the moment. The No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world cruised on Friday — looking vintage in domination —, who entered the French Open semis as No. 6 player in the ATP World Tour rankings. 

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before. But this will be the first time they’ve met in a Grand Slam final. And of course, with it being on clay, Nadal is an overwhelming favorite. 

But if you think it’s going to be a simple Sunday stroll for Nadal to get this 11th French Open title, consider that his opponent is a fitting foe on the final stage. Thiem, 24, is the only player to beat Nadal on clay in the past two years. 

Nadal has won six of his nine matches against Thiem, all of them coming on that famously difficult red clay. Nadal is 49-2 since 2017 when playing on clay. Both losses came against Thiem. 

The Austrian is hitting is stride, and seems to be in his prime, and so we could be in for a compelling final. Nadal’s had some challenges at Roland-Garros’ championship stage over the years, but few athletes in any sport have ever been more acclimatized to a venue the way Nadal has owned the terra firma of Roland-Garros’ grounds.  

Sunday’s final will be Nadal’s 24th Grand Slam final, putting him second all time. The best? Roger Federer, of course, who’s made 30 Grand Slam finals and won 20 of them. Federer and Nadal have something else ridiculous in common: they’re the only two players in men’s tennis history to reach at least 11 finals in a specific Grand Slam. Federer’s 11 are at Wimbledon, and if Nadal beats Thiem on Sunday, he’ll keep his flawless French final mark; he’s never lost in the ultimate match at this event.   

Live updates

Follow along with all of the action from Sunday’s final with our live blog. If the live blog isn’t working, click here. 

How to watch Nadal vs. Thiem in the French Open men’s final

  • Date: Sunday, June 10
  • Time: 9 a.m. EST
  • Channel: NBC
  • Stream: FuboTV (try for free)

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