Rafael Nadal won his 13th French Open title against Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
The injured tennis player thanked his family and support system in a speech after his victory, which also marks 20 Grand Slam victories for Nadal. He won the title 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in a tense match against Djokovic.
The Spaniard took Djokovic to the top with one ankle and knelt on the famous red-clay court, throwing his arms in victory. The two men shared a brief, sportsman-like hug on the net after the final set.
“I want to send a message to everyone around the world now,” Nadal said in a speech. “We are facing the worst moments that I think we remember in this world, facing this virus and fighting it. Just keep going, stay positive. ”
Djokovic congratulated Nadal at the end of the tournament, noting that he was dominated by a better player.
“What you are doing in this court is incredible,” Djokovic said. “Not only on this court, you have been a great champion throughout your career and today you have shown why you are the king of the soil. I have felt it on my skin. “
Just behind Nadal Djokovic, the world number two men’s tennis player who reached the final, has now reached the top of the game. Sunday’s victory tied him to rival Roger Federer in Grand Slam titles and he holds the record for most French Open tournament wins.
Many have questioned whether Nadal’s serious injuries have left him behind in his career, but the 34-year-old’s Sunday victory may have silenced those criticisms.
The Spanish-born player won his first French Open in 2005 and dominated the court in 2008, winning four consecutive titles. Federer won the 2009 title but Nadal returned and won the French Open from 2010-2014. Sunday’s victory continues Nadal’s third French Open winning streak, dominating the tournament since 2017.