For the second consecutive year, Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal will duke it out for the Coupe des Mousquetaires when they face off in the men’s final of the 2019 French Open this evening.
Both men enter tonight’s championship match having ended any hopes that Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer had of completing their double career Grand Slams with contrasting victories in their respective semi-finals.
While Nadal was ruthless in his straight-sets win over his Swiss rival, Thiem was forced to endure a two-day, five-set semi-final against Novak Djokovic, winning it 7-5 in the final set.
It will remain to be seen what lessons Thiem has taken out of his last two Grand Slam meetings against Nadal, a straight-sets verdict in last year’s French Open final as well as a heartbreaking five-set loss in the quarter-finals of the US Open last September.
However, he did win their most recent meeting in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open earlier this year en route to winning the title.
His run to a second consecutive French Open final has included defeating French showman Gael Monfils and Russian tenth seed Karen Khachanov in straight sets, both preceding his thrilling five-set victory over Djokovic in the semi-finals.
Nadal, meantime, will be shooting for more history at Roland Garros, as a victory in the final would see him claim his 12th title from as many attempts since debuting here in 2005.
The Spaniard has dropped just one set en route to the championship match, the third one in his third round match against David Goffin, highlighting the task that Dominic Thiem has at hand if he is to create history of his own.
Here is your guide to tonight’s French Open men’s final.
 Dominic Thiem (AUT) versus  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Time: Sunday, June 9, 11:00pm (AEST) (2:00pm local)
Court: Philippe Chatrier
Head to head
All matches: Nadal 8-4.
At the Grand Slams: Nadal 4-0.
In finals: Nadal 3-0.
Last meeting: Thiem won 6-4, 6-4, semi-finals, 2019 Barcelona Open.
Dominic Thiem’s road to the final
Round 1: defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Round 2: defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 7-5.
Round 3: defeated Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Round 4: defeated  Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Quarter-final: defeated  Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Semi-final: defeated  Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.
Rafael Nadal’s road to the final
Round 1: defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.
Round 2: defeated Yannick Maden (GER) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
Round 3: defeated  David Goffin (BEL) 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Round 4: defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Quarter-final: defeated  Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.
Semi-final: defeated  Roger Federer (SUI) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The stats that matter
This is Dominic Thiem’s second Grand Slam final (and second at the French Open), while this is Rafael Nadal’s 26th (17-8) Grand Slam final and 12th (12-0) at the French Open.
This is the 13th meeting between Thiem and Nadal; Nadal leads 8-4 overall, 4-0 at majors and 3-0 in all finals, including last year’s French Open final.
This is the first repeat French Open men’s final since 2007-08 (Nadal defeated Federer on both those occasions, as well as in 2006).
Nadal is shooting for a 12th French Open singles title, which would see him own the record for the most titles at any Grand Slam by a man or woman (currently, Margaret Court holds the record of 11 Australian Open singles title).
A win for Nadal would also see him claim his 18th Grand Slam singles title, which would see him trail Roger Federer who holds the men’s all-time record with 20 majors.
If Nadal were to lose, he will join Federer and Serena Williams among current players in achieving the “dinner set” (winning all four majors and finishing runner-up at all four majors).
Rafael Nadal in straight sets.