Rafa Nadal wins ninth French Open title, 14th Grand Slam

Rafa Nadal is the undisputed king at Roland Garros. Before today, the King of Clay had won the French Open eight times, a record no man in the open era could match. Meanwhile, the world's No. 2 tennis player Novak Djokovic sought his first French Open title. In a match tennis fans will remember for a very long time, Rafa emerged with his ninth French Open win. It is his 14th Grand Slam.

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Today's match was so hard-fought, TV commentators were comparing it to the "Thrilla in Manila," the last match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, a back-and-forth fight that left both men completely spent.

Before the 2014 French Open finals, Nadal and Djokovic had met 41 times. Nadal had won 22 of those matches.

Today, Djokovic came out to win the first set 6-3, but Rafa rallied in the second set to take it 7-5. From there it seemed to be all Rafa through the next set and a half. Nadal cruised to a third set win 6-2. Djokovic battled so hard, he made himself ill on the court.

In the middle of the fourth set, it looked as if Nadal may have stumbled. Commentators worried about his back. Djokovic seemed to sense Nadal backing off and pounced on two consecutive points.

But Rafa proved to be too much for his rival. Within minutes, he was back on form and put the set away 6-4. He called it one of the biggest challenges of his career.

"It's amazing, emotional today," he said after the match. "For me playing here at Roland Garros is unforgettable"

Congrats, Rafa, on once again proving yourself as the best in the game.

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Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Rafa Nadal