World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was full of praise for Rafael Nadal after the French Open final clash. Nadal, seeded at No. 2, demolished No. 1 Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 in the French Open final to lift his 13th title at Roland Garros. Nadal claimed his 13th title at the French Open and also tied Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 20 Major titles.
Nadal skipped the US Open and his decision to completely focus on the French Open paid off. "He keeps going. No holding him back it seems like. It’s amazing. I mean, I admire all his achievements, I mean, especially the one here.
It’s stunning score and results and records that he’s got on this court," Djokovic said in his press conference, per Max Gao. "He lost two times in his entire career [here]. Winning 13 times, yeah, there’s not much you can say.
All the superlatives you can use, he deserves them. “I wanted to kind of disrupt his rhythm, obviously. But he was ready. He was there, he was prepared. He was playing all the right shots today. It’s just one of these days where you have to just say, Chapeau, and well done”.
Djokovic calls Nadal a great champion
In the third set, Djokovic broke back Nadal in the sixth game to level the set at three games apiece. The Serb hoped that would be the spark he needed but Nadal kept his focus and got the job done in three sets.
"I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion.
He just played a fantastic match today. "I was probably rushing a bit much, trying to play shorter points, probably go for winners. I probably wasn’t constructing the points well. That reflected on the result. But that was also caused by [Rafael Nadal], by his amazing defence”.
Djokovic wasn't playing as bad as the scoreline might suggest. "[Rafael Nadal] was getting a lot of balls back. Normally all the shots that I play after two, three quick exchanges from the back of the court, when I hit it against nine out of ten guys, it’s a winner, the point is done. But not against him," Djokovic noted.