Rafael Nadal scored an almost flawless win (6-0, 6-1, 7-5) against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, bagging his 13th French Open title and 20th major Grand Slam win matching the record set by Roger Federer. This was also Nadal’s 100th win at Roland Garros.
The first set lasted a surreal 45 minutes and the two best players exchanged fantastic shots. This was followed by an equally exciting second set before Djokovic launched the inevitable fightback in the third set. But the incomparable Spaniard came up on top with an excellent play throughout.
Djokovic praised Nadal in the presentation ceremony: “Today you showed why you are king of the clay,” he said.
It was Nadal’s 27th win in their rivalry, his ninth in 16 grand slams and eighth in nine encounters at Roland Garros.
“It’s just beyond anything that anyone could have imagined. Maybe in the future someone will witness something better but, in my mind, that’s the biggest sporting achievement any sport will ever see,” tournament director Guy Forget said of the match.
Only Federer, with 31, has played in more grand slam singles finals than Nadal (28) and Djokovic (27). How many more Nadal can add is down to health and ambition.