Nadal racks up 12th French crown as Thiem runs out of steam at Roland Garros

SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Defying the years and one of the most fierce onslaughts he has ever faced at Roland Garros, Rafa Nadal won his 12th French Open crown on Sunday, leaving Dominic Thiem crushed and a packed Parisian stadium shaking their heads in wonder.

The first set had been one for the ages, the second ran it close, but after three hours and one minute all that mattered was that Nadal was once again in familiar pose, flat on his back on the clay, a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 winner to clinch his 18th Grand Slam triumph in total.