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Nadal beats Djokovic to win seventh French Open and surpass Bjorn Borg
Rafa Nadal captured his record setting seventh French Open title defeating Novak Djokovic on the second day of the rain delayed final. In what was his first French Open final, the world number one fell just short of becoming the first man to hold all four Grand Slam titles at one time, since Rod Laver in 1969. With the win Rafa moved past the great Bjorn Borg to become the undisputed "King of Clay".
Edmonton - June 11, 2012 - While it seems as though no player on tour is capable of stopping Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, the rainy weather in Paris managed to slow him down...at least for a little while. In what was one of the most compelling finals in recent history, Nadal captured his record setting seventh French Open crown defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 on the second day of the rain delayed final. In what was his first ever French Open final, the world number one fell just short of becoming the first man to hold all four Grand Slam titles at one time, since Rod Laver in 1969. With the win Rafa moved past the great Bjorn Borg to become the undisputed "King of Clay".
Play was suspended on Sunday with the Spaniard up 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 but with Novak coming on strong. The Serb had been down 0-2 in set three and looked dead in the water, before reeling off an incredible run of eight games to get back in the match. Taking eight games in succession off Nadal is no small feat but to have done it on Court Philippe Chatrier is a minor miracle.
Rafa was the better player during Sunday's action but the rain could not have come at a worse time for Djokovic. He had started to take control of the match and finally found his game. Unfortunately, mother nature would not cooperate and history would have to wait.
When play resumed, the second seed got off to the start he was hoping for, breaking his opponent and getting the fourth set back on serve. Both men were in fine form on day two of the finals but Rafa was a little better. In his four service games, the six time champ lost only three points and would break Djokovic one more time, taking the final set 7-5 and earning his seventh Coupe des Mousquetaires.
In what was a rather odd situation, Nadal had to win the final in order to secure his world number two ranking in the ATP rankings. Seeing the third ranked Roger Federer jump in front of Rafa in the rankings, despite having not even reached the final at Roland Garros, would have been odd to say least. Just goes to show that a computer program may be able to help us tally "points" but it is good for little else.
With the victory, the twenty-five year old has now earned eleven Grand Slam titles, leaving him only five behind Federer for the most in history. While it won't be easy for Nadal to overtake Roger, especially with having to deal with Djokovic at every event, it looks as though that record is well within reach. With Rafa's dominance at Roland Garros, 52-1 for his career, the chances of him winning a few more titles on the orange dirt seem to be a forgone conclusion...as does passing Federer as the most decorated Grand Slam Champion in tennis history.
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