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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Nadal wins record extending ninth French Open title

PHOTOS: Nadal wins record extending ninth French Open title

June 09, 2014 00:10 IST

PHOTOS: Nadal wins record extending ninth French Open title

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Rafael Nadal clinched his ninth French Open and 14th career Grand Slam title on Sunday with a brutal 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory over a battling Novak Djokovic.

The world number one also became the first man to win five Roland Garros crowns in succession as the 28-year-old took his record at the tournament to 66 wins against just one defeat.

His tally of 14 majors equals the mark of Pete Sampras and puts him just three behind the all-time record of Roger Federer who is almost five years older.


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the trophy during the ceremony after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

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French Open title continues to elude Djokovic

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Defeat was cruel for world number two Djokovic, the 2012 runner-up, who still needs a French Open title to become just the eighth man to complete the career Grand Slam.

The Serb dominated the early stages of Sunday's final, the pair's 42nd meeting, seemingly immune to the sweltering 30-degree heat on Philippe Chatrier court.

But Nadal, playing in his 20th Grand Slam final to Djokovic's 13th, grew stronger as the final wore on as he ended a four-match losing streak against his old rival.

The 3hr 31min duel ended on a sour note when Djokovic double-faulted on match point, shaken by a shout from the crowd.


Image: President of the FFT Jean Gachassin applauds Novak Djokovic of Serbia after his defeat in the men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Djokovic looked steadier of the two

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In a tense opening to their seventh Grand Slam final meeting, the steadier Djokovic, sporting a white cap against the fierce sun, pounced to break for 5-3, after Nadal put too much zip on a forehand.

The Spaniard had two points to break back in the ninth game but two more ballooned forehands kept Djokovic, who had even served and volleyed at 0-30, in the picture.

He took the opening set when Nadal, off balance and stranded behind the baseline, went long with a slapped backhand.

It was only the second time the champion had dropped the opening set of a final in Paris -- in 2005 against Mariano Puerta and in 2006 against Roger Federer.


Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot during his men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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A wild forehand gifted Nadal two set points

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However, he regained the advantage with a break to lead 4-2 in the second set with an inside-out forehand stretching the Serb who could only net a desperate return.

But back came Djokovic for 3-4 after a sloppy Nadal service game punctuated by an untimely second double fault.

The world number two saved a break point to go to 4-4, Nadal then held before Djokovic suffered his first serious lapse which was as sudden as it was surprising.

A wild forehand gifted Nadal two set points and the top seed converted with a merciless, crunching forehand.

Djokovic was rapidly wilting in the Paris heat as a 22-shot rally laid the foundation for a Nadal break for 2-0 in the third set, courtesy of a weary backhand volley into the net.

A love service game followed for 3-0 with Nadal having taken five games in succession.

Djokovic had break points in the fifth game as well as an 11-minute seventh game but had no response to Nadal's iron will and rock-solid defence.


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Nadal turned defence into scintillating attack

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As the sun disappeared, so did Djokovic's hopes as Nadal claimed the third set off a long forehand from the Serb.

Djokovic appeared to vomit early in the fourth set and he was feeling even worse when he was broken in the sixth game as Nadal again turned defence into scintillating attack.

In keeping their gripping eight-year rivalry, however, Djokovic ensured another twist with a break back for 3-4.

But Nadal clinched victory on Djokovic's third double fault with his second serve interrupted by a scream from the crowd.


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match point during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Hsieh-Peng lift Paris doubles crown

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Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai beat Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-1 at the French Open on Sunday to take their second grand slam title in the clash between the top seeded women. 

Hsieh, of Taiwan, and China's Peng, both 28 and born four days apart, extended their win-loss record to 12-0 in doubles finals with their victory on the Paris clay, building on the Wimbledon title they lifted last year. 

The Italian pairing, seeded second, had won four of the last eight grand slams, including the 2012 Roland Garros crown and this year's Australian Open. 

"Don't be sad... you guys will win much more than us, so let us win this one," Peng said to her opponents at the trophy presentation on court. "It is the dream to win."


Image: Shuai Peng of China (R)and Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei pose with the trophy after their women's doubles final match against Sara Errani of Italy and Roberta Vinci of Italy
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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