Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to win his 12th French Open title

Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem on Sunday to win his 12th French Open title, securing his 18th major championship and continuing his streak of never losing a final at Roland Garros.

The game was a rematch of last year's final, in which Nadal, 33, beat Thiem, 25, in straight sets. On Sunday, Nadal won 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

 Rafael Nadal won 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 at the French Open on Sunday.

 Rafael Nadal won 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 at the French Open on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The win marks the first time anyone has won the same major tournament 12 times. The 18th Grand Slam title overall moves Nadal within two of Roger Federer's record among men.

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Thiem made it seem as if this one could be much more difficult for Nadal, taking the second set to make it one set apiece.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates his record 12th French Open tennis tournament title after winning his men's final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem in four sets at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on Sunday.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates his record 12th French Open tennis tournament title after winning his men's final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem in four sets at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

But the No. 2-seeded Nadal reasserted himself there to grab control. He won 16 of the initial 17 points in the third set en route to collecting 12 of the last 14 games.

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No other man or woman has won as many as 12 titles at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

When it ended, Nadal dropped to his back on the clay he loves so much, then covered his face with both hands.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.