Rafael Nadal bags fifth straight French Open title

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Paris, France (4E Sports) – Top seed Rafael Nadal captured a historic fifth straight – and ninth overall – French Open title and kept the No. 1 spot with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 win over Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

With the win, the 28-year-old Nadal will start his 139th week at No. 1 in the ATP rankings Monday.

In addition, Nadal tied Pete Sampras at No. 2 in the Grand Slam title-leaders list on 14 major crowns. He is now three Grand Slam trophies behind Roger Federer, who has 17.

The Spaniard, who pocketed $2,251,590 for his efforts, became the first man in tennis history to win nine titles at a single major championship. He has a 14-6 record overall in Grand Slam finals.

Nadal has a 66-1 record at Roland Garros, where he is 35-matches unbeaten. His only loss on Parisian clay came against Robin Soderling in the 2009 fourth round.

The Mallorcan has a 90-1 win-loss record in best-of-five-set matches on clay courts. He has now won 64 tour-level titles – 45 of which have come on clay courts – and is only two red dirt titles behind all-time leader Guillermo Vilas (46).

“Playing against Novak is always a big challenge for me,” said Nadal, who improved to 23-19 against Djokovic, including 4-3 in Grand Slam finals. “I lost the last few times. Both of us, the last couple of years have been playing a very high level.”

“Obviously his records speak for themselves,” said Djokovic, who was attempting to complete a career Grand Slam with his first Roland Garros crown. He also finished as runner-up to Nadal in the 2012 title-match.

“He has won this tournament now nine times. It’s very impressive… He has lost only once in his career on centre court. It’s definitely not easy best of five to play against him in these conditions,” Djokovic added.

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