Tennis: Rafael Nadal thrashes Novak Djokovic to extend record at French Open to 13 titles

Rafael Nadal blasted his way past Novak Djokovic in the French Open men’s final to extend his record at Roland Garros to 13 titles.

The 34-year-old Spaniard took two and a half hours to cruise to victory at Roland Garros on Sunday, winning in three straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

His Serb opponent rallied in the third set but could not recover from the first two, which saw him blown away by Nadal who surrendered just two games.

Nadal — whose first French victory came in 2005 aged 19 — did not waver in his determination and was on top form. His victory means he draws level with Roger Federer by taking a 20th Grand Slam title. The Swiss former world number one posted a congratulatory message on Instagram.

Rafael Nadal won the tournament in Paris without dropping a set, the fourth time he has done so at the tournament where the red clay is his favourite surface.

“The love story that I have with this city, and with this court, is unforgettable,” Nadal said afterwards.

The champion’s performance was particularly impressive over the fortnight given that it was thought the relatively cool conditions might not suit his game.

The tournament, usually played in warmer temperatures in the spring, was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The final took place with the retractable roof closed on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Djokovic, who had beaten Nadal in 14 of their previous 18 matches, remains on 17 Grand Slam victories.

“He keeps going. No holding him back, it seems like. It’s amazing. I mean, I admire all his achievements,” said Djokovic, who had won his last five Grand Slam finals. “There’s not much you can say. All the superlatives you can use, he deserves them.”

On Saturday unseeded Polish teen Iga Swiatek won the women’s title at Roland Garros, beating American Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1 to take her first Grand Slam title.


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