Roland Garros—Paris, France
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal won his seventh French Open title on Monday in a rain-delayed final, defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
In a match that lasted two days because of rain, Nadal returned to the court down a break in the fourth set, but quickly broke serve to tie the action at 2-all. Improving to 52-1 at the event, Nadal won his 19th match against his chief rival after Djokovic double faulted down 30-40, 5-6.
Striking 34 winners to 29 unforced errors, Nadal slammed four aces and lost his serve on seven occasions during the three hour and 49 minute encounter. By contrast, Djokovic hit 39 winners to 53 unforced errors and lost his serve nine times.
Attempting to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four grand slams, Djokovic failed to capture his sixth grand slam, but appeared optimistic during the post match ceremony after saving four match points in the quarterfinals and overcoming a two sets to love deficit in the fourth-round.
Winning his 11th career major, Nadal will next set his sights on a third career Wimbledon title. The Spaniard will look to fend off the like of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray on the hallowed lawns of the All England Club in two week’s time. Nadal will begin his grass-court preparations later this week when he plays the Halle, Germany tournament for the first time.
Djokovic, who will not play an official grass-court tune up, will warm up for his defense at Wimbledon by playing a series of exhibitions.