Nadal claims ninth French Open Title in record-breaking final

Rafa Nadal has successfully defended his French Open crown with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 victory over world number two Novak Djokovic. The victory secured Nadal a record-breaking fifth successive Roland Garros title – his ninth in all. The win destroys Bjorn Borg’s previous record of four French Title wins in a row. Novak Djokovic, who needed the win to become the eighth man to complete a career grand slam, lost to the claycourt master after flagging in the fourth set. Both players started the match strongly on their service games until Djokovic moved 40-15 up on Nadal’s serve in the eighth game. Nadal, who had trouble finding his range, saved the two break points with a forehand winner down the line and a big first serve but misfired on the third. In the end, the hot conditions favoured Nadal and the Serb was red-faced as he puffed his way to defeat in the final game with double faults.

On match point, Djokovic double-faulted for the third time. Nadal dropped to his knees before shaking hands with Djokovic and then climbing into the crowd to celebrate with his team.

Associated Press

Both players used ice-filled towels to cool themselves during changeovers, but Djokovic also looked like he vomited a bit as he was heading for the first changeover in the fourth set. Djokovic also appeared out of sorts in the third set. Trailing 3-0, he wobbled as he went to take his seat on the bench for the changeover. And in the final set, with Nadal leading 5-4, Djokovic poured cold water on his head and on each forearm in an effort to cool off.