Nadal is King of French Open
PARIS (AP) – At the French Open, there’s just no one better than Rafael Nadal.
The “King of Clay” proved that again today, winning the title at Roland Garros for the ninth time, and the fifth time in a row, by beating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 66-1, and stretched his winning streak at the clay-court major to 35 straight. He also became the first man to win the same Grand Slam title nine times.
“For me, playing here in Roland Garros is just unforgettable, forever,” Nadal said on court.
But it didn’t look too good at the start for the top-seeded Spaniard. Djokovic won the first set and looked to be in control of nearly every point. The combination of Nadal finding his range and the heat on court, however, started to take its toll on the second-seeded Serb.
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.
Nadal ended up breaking Djokovic to win the second set, and then again to win the third and yet again to win the fourth.
Djokovic, the six-time major champion, still needs a victory at the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
French Open Men’s Champions 2000-2014:
2014: Rafael Nadal
2013: Rafael Nadal
2012: Rafael Nadal
2011: Rafael Nadal
2010: Rafael Nadal
2009: Roger Federer
2008: Rafael Nadal
2007: Rafael Nadal
2006: Rafael Nadal
2005: Rafael Nadal
2004: Gaston Gaudio
2003: Juan Carlos Ferrero
2002: Albert Costa
2001: Gustavo Kuerten
2000: Gustavo Kuerten