PARIS: Rafael Nadal etched a new personal French Open milestone Sunday while racing past world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to claim a record 13th Roland-Garros title, with a breathtaking performance in Paris.
With a lifetime record of 100-2 in Paris, Nadal becomes the first player to achieve triple digit match victories at Roland-Garros.
Nadal joins a select group of players that have hit the century mark at the same Slam. He is the second male player to claim 100 victories at a single Grand Slam event, and joins Chris Evert (101-12 at the US Open), Roger Federer (102-15 at the Australian Open, 101-13 at Wimbledon), Martina Navratilova (120-14 at Wimbledon) and Serena Williams (106-14 at the US Open) on the complete list.
There was just one statistic that didn’t support the perfect symmetry of Nadal's triumph on Sunday: The 34-year-old contested his 1200th Tour-level match on Sunday in Paris, and won his 999th Tour-level match-win. Number 1,000 will have to wait.
With his latest Paris coronation Nadal earns his 20th major title, drawing level with Roger Federer atop the men’s singles Grand Slam title list for the first time since the Swiss won his maiden major at Wimbledon in 2003.
Players with 20+ Grand Slams in the Open Era:
- Rafael Nadal
- Serena Williams
- Roger Federer
- Steffi Graf
Nadal says sharing the record with Federer means a great deal to him, but he was quick to add that there’s a lot of tennis history that has yet to be written.
“In terms of these records, of course I care,” Nadal said. “I am a big fan of the history of sport in general. I respect that a lot. For me it means a lot to share this number with Roger, no? But let's see what's going on when we finish our careers - we keep playing.”
Djokovic was left impressed and appreciated Nadal’s persistence to dominate the clay courts.
“Today you showed why you are the King of Clay,” Djokovic said on court after the final. “Today I felt it with my own skin.”