Rafael Nadal has become the first tennis player to win the French Open nine times in the Open era.
The win is Nadal’s fourteenth Grand Slam title, tying him at second place with Pete Sampras on the all-time winners table, 3 shy of Roger Federer’s record 17 titles. He is also the first player to win 9 times at any Grand Slam event, eclipsing both Roger Federer’s and Pete Sampras’s 7 time success at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard saw off world number 2, Novak Djokovic, requiring over 3 hours and 4 sets to lift the Coupe des Mosquetaires (The Musketeers’ Trophy) at the Philippe Chatrier court. In the end, the Spaniard fought back tears before collecting the trophy from Bjorn Borg, himself a 6 times winner of the French Open.
Djokovic had broken the Spaniard in the eighth game of the match on his way to taking the first set. Having won the Australian Open, as well as both the US Open and at Wimbledon, the Serbian maestro had history of his own to make as he aimed to complete the Career Grand Slam with the only trophy eluding him so far. Had he succeeded he would have become only the 8th man to do so.
Unfortunately for the man known as the Djoker on the men’s tour, it was not to be.
Nadal took the second set 7-5 and from then on, save for a brief rally by the Serb in the fourth and final set, the defending champion never looked back. Djokovic surrendered championship point with a double fault, handing Rafael Nadal an unprecedented ninth French Open victory and a chance to get on his knees in his now famous celebratory gesture.
Final score: 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4
Photo credit: BBC