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Rafael Nadal wins French Open for record-tying 20th men's Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal of Spain (pictured) holds his trophy after beating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's French Open final on Sunday at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo by Julien De Rosa/EPA-EFE
Rafael Nadal of Spain (pictured) holds his trophy after beating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's French Open final on Sunday at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo by Julien De Rosa/EPA-EFE

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the French Open final Sunday to claim his record-tying 20th Grand Slam title.

Nadal tied longtime rival Roger Federer for the most major singles championships won by a man and added to his own record at Roland Garros with his 13th victory in the tournament.

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Nadal accomplished those feats in dominant fashion, posting a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Djokovic. The 34-year-old from Spain improved to 100-2 at the French Open -- including a combined 26-0 record in the semifinals and finals -- with the win. It was his fourth consecutive title in Paris.

"What you are doing on this court is unbelievable. Not just this court -- throughout your entire career, you've been a great champion," Djokovic told Nadal during the trophy presentation. "Today, you showed why you are 'King of the Clay.'"

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When Nadal sealed the victory with an ace, he dropped to his knees and pumped his arms. It marked the fourth time he has won the French Open without dropping a set.

"The love story that I have with this city, and with this court, is unforgettable," said Nadal, who became the oldest French Open champion since 1972.

Federer reacted to Nadal's victory on social media, congratulating his "greatest rival."

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"I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion," Federer wrote Sunday on Twitter. "As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players. Therefore, it is a true honor for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.

"... I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it."

Entering Sunday's final, Djokovic had won 14 of the past 18 meetings against Nadal and led the series 29-26 overall, including a straight-sets victory at the 2019 Australian Open.

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"In Australia, he killed me. ... Today was for me," Nadal said. "That's part of the game."

Nadal had only 14 unforced errors across 183 points, while Djokovic accumulated 52.

"I am not so pleased with the way I played," Djokovic said. "But I was definitely [outplayed] by a better player."

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