Paris: Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in a rain-delayed French Open final Monday to eclipse the great Bjorn Borg for a record seventh Roland Garros title.
It was a predictably gladiatorial contest that ended on a whimper as the Serbian World No. 1 double-faulted, sending the teary Spaniard to his knees and, then, into the stands to embrace his loved ones.
The final score was 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, cementing Nadal’s nickname as the King of Clay.
“For me it’s a real honour. … For me this tournament is the most special in the world. It’s probably one of the special moments of my career,” he said after overtaking Borg’s record of six titles between 1974 and 1981.
It is seven years since Nadal claimed his first title in Paris at his first attempt as a 19-year-old.
Asked whether Nadal had any room left at home for yet another trophy, the 26-year-old responded: “There is always a space for a Roland Garros trophy.”
It was his 11th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic got over his initial despondency quickly, smiling as he admitted: “Rafa was a better player. I hope to come back next year and play better. It was a privilege to be in this final.”
The match had been stopped Sunday night due to rain with Djokovic just having managed to claw himself back into the match, taking the third set after Nadal cruised to the first two.