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These Two Points Adequately Represent Rafael Nadal's Ridiculous Clay Season

Photo: Clive Brunskill (Getty)

Rafael Nadal won the French Open on Sunday, and there’s little new to say that wasn’t already said after last year’s title. After the preposterousness of 10, 11 doesn’t feel so different. But even into the double-digits, it’s worth remembering that the points are fucking absurd.

Here are two of the Spaniard’s best rallies from the final against Dominic Thiem, as a memorial to his achievement on clay in 2018: a four-title, 25-1 run, culminating in a beatdown of his only “rival” on the surface. These clips are fairly representative of the spankings he’s administered to the whole men’s tour over the last eight weeks.


Nadal offered his one-handed foe a stern lesson in the two-handed backhand with this 1-2-3 sequence:

A little later, he had a series of punitive forehands, stitched together with footwork so furious as to foreclose any notion of hitting through this guy for three sets:

Okay, that was more than enough time spent staring into that orangey-red expanse. On to the green grass.

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