Rafael Nadal continues to show why he is the “King of Clay”.
The world number extended his dominance at Roland Garros with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory over his rival Novak Djokovic to claim his fifth consecutive French Open title – and a record ninth overall.
Djokovic was seeking to become just the eighth man to complete the career Grand Slam. The world number two was the bookmakers’ favorite going into the tournament based on his recent success against Nadal (four straight including the finals at Rome) as well as Nadal’s poor results – for him – on clay leading up to the French Open.
The Serbian seemed well on his way after taking the first set, but seemed to wear down as the match went on due to the hot conditions. Meanwhile the champion showed his trademark relentlessness and by the end of the second set, momentum had shifted towards the Spaniard.
Djokovic looked exhausted during the third set, but caught a bit of a second wind midway through the fourth, rallying from a 4-2 deficit to get back on serve. But Nadal held serve to get to 5-4, and took advantage of the Serb’s lack of concentration to win the match.
Nadal is now 66-1 for his career at the French Open, including 6-0 versus Djokovic.