By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) – Spanish men’s tennis star Rafael Nadal is a true frequenter of the French Open, also known as the Roland Garros, securing the title for a total of 13 times in his career.
On Sunday, Nadal beat his Serbian rival — world no. 1 — Novak Djokovic with the sets of 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in Paris to be crowned this year’s French Open champion in the singles.
Djokovic, 33, had last become the 2016 French Open winner.
The 34-year-old Nadal claimed 13 French Open titles, winning the major trophy on the red clay in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
With the recent triumph in Paris, Nadal equaled Swiss legend Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Federer, 39, was the 2009 champion, his only French Open title, but won 20 Grand Slams in total.
In addition to his 13 wins in France, Nadal has one Australian Open, two Wimbledon and four US Open titles under his belt to reach Federer.
Federer has earned six Australian Open championships, as well as one French Open, eight Wimbledon and five US Open.
The Swiss national last won the 2018 Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Federer was absent from the 2020 French Open.
The tennis veteran previously said in June that he would miss the remainder of the year after suffering a setback during his initial rehabilitation from surgery on his right knee last February.
Federer had added that he looks forward to returning to the courts at the beginning of the 2021 season.
– Nadal among 20+ Grand Slam title holders
The Spanish star went down in tennis history as he became the fifth player worldwide to have at least 20 titles in the four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open).
The all-time record holder had previously been retired Australian tennis player Margaret Court.
She won 24 championships in the Grand Slam to become the most successful player.
Court retired in 1977.
US legend Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slams so far. The 39-year-old still plays the game.
Steffi Graf — a retired German player — claimed 22 Grand Slam victories in her career.
Federer and Nadal were both 20-time Grand Slam winners.
Having made his Grand Slam debut in 2005, Djokovic has won 17 titles in the four majors so far.
But, the Serbian star needs to get three more Grand Slam wins to join the likes of Nadal and the others.
– Way to French Open victory
Nadal entered this year’s French Open in the first round, where he beat his unseeded Belarusian opponent Egor Gerasimov (6-4, 6-4, 6-2).
In the second round, Nadal eliminated another unseeded player, Mackenzie McDonald from the US, with the sets 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.
Nadal qualified for the fourth round after beating Italy’s Stefano Travaglia by 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 in the third phase of the knockout stage.
The Spanish star dominated the fourth round game against US player Sebastian Korda (6-1, 6-1, 6-2) to bag the ticket for the quarterfinals.
Nadal grasped a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1 win over Jannik Sinner of Italy to advance to the semis.
Confident, Nadal also eliminated Argentine player Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) in the semifinals.
He eyed his 13th French Open title as he faced fellow tennis giant, Djokovic, in the final at the Court Philippe-Chatrier.
The Spaniard became the 2020 champion in Paris, over the 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 win in Sunday’s final versus Djokovic that lasted two hours and 41 minutes.
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