Nadal wandered into the Parisian venue knowing that in yesterday’s fourth set Novak Djokovic was in control. The rain have put paid to play and the 26-year-old would have spent a restless night knowing that he had to overcome the Serbian and the specter of Bjorn Borg in order to claimed his seventh and record-breaking French Open title.
By the same token Djokovic was battling for his own slice of history, looking to be only the third tennis player ever to simultaneously hold all four major tennis titles.
However, on clay few can match Rafael Nadal and with so much at stake he fired himself up for the last fast-paced day, instantly breaking his opponent. The day before he had looked like he may crumble from a leading position for a first time, but in the fourth game of the fourth set Nadal bit back.
Regardless of whose serve it was Rafa looked more assured and it seemed almost preordained that this match would end with the Serbian double-faulting. The match ended 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
Now with 11 grand slam titles Nadal has ended Djokovic’s time reigning over the game and he will also be looking to clock several more titles on his way to meeting the records of players like Roger Federer, who has 16 trophies to his name, and to Pete Sampras, who has 14.
His first chance to show that this is his intent will come at Wimbledon, which starts on the 25th of June.