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Champion:Rafael Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles after he downed Roger Federer in four sets on Sunday.
PARIS: Rafael Nadal won a 10th Grand Slam crown, and equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles, when he defeated Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-1 on Sunday in the rivals' latest epic duel.
Top seed Nadal, who was also champion in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, took his overall Paris record to 45 wins against just one defeat, and victory also meant he hangs on to his World No. 1 spot.
It was the 25-year-old Spaniard's 17th win over Federer in 25 meetings and fourth in a Roland Garros final.
“Thanks to all the ones who make this tournament the best in the world,” said Nadal after his sixth win in eight Grand Slam final meetings with Federer.
Federer praised the Spaniard. “It was an exceptional performance by Rafa. He's beaten me again,” said Federer.
In a final played in heavy, muggy conditions in the French capital, Federer raced to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of two confident service games and a break in the second game on a fourth break point.
The Swiss, playing in his 23rd Grand Slam final, was soon 5-2 ahead, with Nadal's problems compounded by having to call for treatment on a blister on his left heel at the changeover.
But Nadal came back to save a set point in the seventh game, when a Federer drop-shot just missed the target.
The Spaniard went to 3-5 with a thumping backhand crosscourt winner before he retrieved the break in the ninth game with a sweeping, low forehand.
Nadal held for 5-5 and broke to lead 6-5 by winning a thrilling eye-to-eye duel at the net with a reflex volley, before a rattled Federer netted a simple forehand.
The Spaniard clinched the set after 62 minutes.
It was Nadal's fifth game in a row, which soon became seven with a break and hold to lead 2-0 in the second set.
Federer had to serve two aces on his way to saving three break points in the fifth game, but then broke to level at 4-4.
But he handed the advantage straight back in the next game, skewering a backhand wide, having saved two break points.
Nadal missed a set point at 5-4 before rain forced a 10-minute halt. He squandered another on resumption, before Federer made him pay to hit back for 5-5.
The top seed dominated the tie break. Federer was broken to love to slip 4-2 down in the third set, but bravely clung on to nip straight back to trail 3-4.
He successfully served to stay in the match in the 10th game, broke for 6-5 before having the crowd on their feet by snatching the third set 7-5.
Nadal fought off two break points in the opening game of the fourth set, then broke to love for a 3-1 lead and held for 4-1.
The fight was suddenly gone from Federer as Nadal clinched a double break for 5-1.
A netted service return gave Nadal three match points and a sixth title was his when Federer went long with a forehand. — AFP
Men: Final: 1-Rafael Nadal bt 3-Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-1.
Boys: Final: Bjorn Fratangelo bt 14-Dominic Thiem 3-6, 6-3, 8-6.
Girls: Final: 9-Ons Jabeur bt 5-Monica Puig 7-6(10), 6-1 .
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