“I didn’t even know I would be here“
But doubt Nadal at your own peril: six weeks later, he defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria in a grueling 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 battle to prove yet again why he is one of the all-time greats.
“It is truly incredible, I cannot explain it,” Nadal told the crowd at the Court Philippe-Chatrier after Thiem hit a forehand return long on match point.
“For me, it was a dream to play here for the first time in 2005...It is very special for me,” said the Spaniard after becoming the first player in history to win 12 singles titles at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
“I have had a very difficult year with a lot of physical problems,” said Nadal. “One month ago I didn’t even know I would be here. For me, the simple fact of having tried, having trained well in the last weeks to come back, is my biggest satisfaction.”