Photo: Paul ZimmerRafael Nadal (ESP)
ROLAND GARROS, PARIS: Rafael Nadal continued his astonishing Roland Garros domination with a 36 62 75 64 victory over Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final for a ninth title in Paris.
It was Djokovic who secured the first set, capitalising on several uncharacteristically weak forehands from Nadal to give himself the initial advantage. Nadal was soon back in the match however, breaking the Serb for a 4-2 lead which he duly squandered following a nervy service game. It wasn’t long before he recorded a decisive break and the match was one-set all.
The sweltering conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier started to take their toll, with Djokovic in particular struggling in the third set. A double break ensued and Nadal found himself in that familiar leading position on the clay courts of Paris. The fourth set wasn’t all plain sailing for the Spaniard as he too started to falter in the heat; Djokovic pegged back an early break for 4-4 but a solid service game from Nadal piled the pressure on the world No. 2 who recorded a double fault on Nadal’s first match point.
"I don't really care that much about the records. I'll still play with a lot of intensity. I'll still be motivated," said Nadal. "Time will tell if I can have another record or not. For the time being, I'm so happy to have reached 14 Grand Slams."
“It was a great start; came back in the second. Could have gone to the tiebreak and was quite even. I lost that service game 6‑5, and then the momentums went his side,” explained Djokovic. “I started playing quite bad and didn't move as well. Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set. Then in the fourth started to feel a little bit better, but then just crucial points he played better. I wasn't playing at the level that I wanted, especially in the second part of the match.”
Earlier in the day the doubles pairing of Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai defeated Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 64 61 to win the women's doubles title.
2013 Wimbledon doubles champions Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Peng Shuai of China have received support from the Grand Slam Development Fund. Hsieh and Peng first met in 1999 when they were both members of ITF/GSDF 14 & under touring teams.