Friday - Jun 23, 2017

Rafael Nadal overcomes Novak Djokovic to win his ninth French Open title


Rafael Nadal overcomes Novak Djokovic to win his ninth French Open title

Rafael Nadal’s obvious superiority on clay surfaces was never more obvious yesterday in Paris as he first contained and then drove off the talent and power of Novak Djokovic his career ninth French Open title, as well as his record-breaking fifth in succession. The statistics also show that with his victory Nadal has now enjoyed and incredible winning streak at Roland Garros of 66, with his last defeat coming 10 years ago, when he was an 18-year-old.

On an uncommonly hot summers day, Nadal rapidly overcame the trauma of losing the first set, gradually drawing upon his incredible stamina to win the next three in succession, with the match ending 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 in just over three hours and one half hours.

With his victory Rafael Nadal etched his name deep in the records of tennis legends becoming the first male player to win the same Grand Slam title nine times, in the process taking his tally of major event victories to fourteen, three behind Roger Federer’s record total.

Yesterday’s title win was enough to see Nadal draw level with the legendary Martina Navratilova, who won Wimbledon on nine separate occasions, and Helen Wills Moody who also picked up her record at Wimbledon. The Spaniard will now have his sights set on reaching and then breaking Margaret Smith Court’s record of eleven grand Slam championships at the same venue, with hers coming at the Australian Championships/Open.

The 2014 final mark the third successive year that Raphael Nadal has put an end to the likeable Serbs ambition to win the only Grand Slam title that evades him. In the early stages of the match, there were hints that this year could be different, however as the match progressed Djokovic increasingly struggled to keep pace with Nadal, and to sum up his performance conceded defeat by serving a double fault.

Well before that Nadal has another mountain to climb, this time to compensate for his devastating first-round defeat at last year’s All England Club Championships at Wimbledon. Rafael’s shock first-round exit against Steve Darcis of Belgium, at that time ranked in 135th place in the world admittedly came as he gradually making his way back from seven months out with a knee injury, and was obviously still to find his best form, and make the adjustment from playing on a clay surface to grass.

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