Rafael Nadal won a record 9th French Open on Sunday, beating Novak Djokovic in the final, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
The first set went by the familiar script: nervy, anxious play from both in the first half dozen games. With Nadal serving at 3-4, Djokovic broke serve, then served for the set at 5-3. Despite going down break points, he finally held to get the first set 6-3.
In the second set, they again held serve the first several games, until Nadal broke Djokovic when serving at 2-3. As happens so often with these two, Djokovic broke right back. After both holding serve the next few games, with Djokovic serving to stay in the set at 5-6, Nadal broke, and took the set 7-5.
Gaining confidence, Nadal held, then easily broke Djokovic at the beginning of the third, quickly taking a 3-0 lead. Djokovic finally held in the fourth game, and had a break point in Nadal’s next service game, but the Spaniard held to take a 4-1 lead. After a long seventh game, involving multiple deuces and break points saved, Nadal finally held. In the following game, Nadal broke Djokovic’s serve, winning the set 6-2.
By the beginning of the fourth set, Djokovic had become visibly ill, even being shown getting sick. Despite that, he held his opening two service games. After a series of errors when serving at 2-3, Djokovic lost serve. A straightforward next service game was expected for Nadal, however with his back showing signs of acting up, he lost serve, then Djokovic quickly held for 4-4. After a tough game to hold for 5-4, Nadal broke Djokovic’s serve one final time, with the Serb double faulting on championship point.
It was Nadal’s record 9th French Open, and 14th Major, tying him in second place with Pete Sampras (Roger Federer has 17).
Cover Photo (Creative Commons License): In Mou We Trust