(Featured Image: CHRISTOPHE SAIDI / FFT/rollandgarros.com)
Nadal took the French Open Title on Sunday after a gruelling battle with Novak Djokovic on Court Phillipe Chatrier in Paris.
Both players were on the verge of history with the Spaniard hoping to make this his 9th win while Djokovic was hoping to clinch his first win at the French open. However, Nadal ended the hopes of world number 2 player with a decisive 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory in three and a half hours.
This makes it the 23rd win out of the 42 encounters Nadal has had with the Serb and the Spaniard will be smiling home after keeping his world number one title intact after the tournament.
After the gruelling match, Nadal admitted that he beating Djokovic was no small feat and that he had to reach for his inner strength to find the wherewithal to win.
When given a chance to speak on court after the match, the two players both obviously physically and mentally drained by now, offered nothing but praise for one another.
“I am sorry for today, but for me is always a challenge to play against you,” Nadal said. “Every time I beat him, I have to play to my limit. Today tennis give me back what happened in Australia,” in reference to a back injury that robbed him of the title in the finals. Adding that, “I’m sure you will win here in the future. I don’t have any doubt about that.”
Djokovic who got a standing ovation after the battle at Roland Garros replied “I gave my best. All my strength. All my capability and effort. But Rafa was the best today.”
He also added that although the trophy ‘was out of reach’ this year, he was determined to ‘come back again’ and ‘again’ and ‘again’ until he won it.
The win brings Nadal level with Pete Sampras who also won 14 Majors, and brings him closer to catching up with Roger Federer’s 17 time title.