If you missed the men’s French Open final yesterday, you missed three quick sets of Rafael Nadal being Rafael Nadal and winning his 11th French Open trophy. But you also missed the trophy presenter, former Grand Slam winner Ken Rosewall, providing some unusually honest, slightly unfair analysis of Nadal’s opponent Dominic Thiem, calling his play “disappointing” while the three of them were all on the court together. Rosewall said:
“The match today, I think, like everybody, we would have liked to see a few more sets. That’s what happens in tennis. Rafa was just a little bit too good and I think Dominic was a little bit disappointing in his own game today.”
Rafael Nadal is the best clay court player the world has ever seen. Four of his 11 French Open titles, including one against Roger Federer in 2008, were straight-set wins. On the other side of the net, Thiem was playing in his first grand slam final ever. While the most charitable reading of Rosewall’s remarks is that he thought enough of Thiem’s game to expect a closer match—earlier this season, Thiem became the only player to get a win over Nadal on clay in two years—his brutal honesty made for exceedingly awkward TV, thanks especially to the tight shots of Nadal’s expressionless face.