Rafael Nadal of Spain won an unprecedented ninth French Open championship Sunday, denying Serbia’s Novak Djokovic his quest to secure a career Grand Slam with the only major he lacks.
Nadal wore down No. 2 Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in a match that went 3 hours and 31 minutes, becoming the first man to win five consecutive titles in Paris.
The 28-year-old draws level with Pete Sampras at No. 2 in the Grand Slam title-leaders list on 14 major crowns, and is now three Grand Slam trophies behind Roger Federer, who has 17.
The Spaniard received a €1,650,000 first prize after he became the first man in tennis history to win 9 titles at a single major championship. He has a 14-6 record overall in Grand Slam finals.
Djokovic had been 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.
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.