Rafael Nadal demolished Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to win his 13th French Open and equal Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles on Sunday.
For world number one Djokovic, the defeat ended his hopes of an 18th Slam and of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors twice.
The Serb was overwhelmed by Nadal’s rapid start and produced a despondent display as a result.
Defeat also meant Djokovic, who was bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, lost ground on Nadal and Federer in their ongoing battle to finish with the most major wins.
Nadal sealed victory after two hours 41 minutes with a kicking ace out wide on his first match point, leaving the Spaniard laughing as he fell to his knees on the court where he has enjoyed unparalleled success.
“A win here means everything for me,” said Nadal, who also became the first player to win 100 singles matches at Roland Garros.
“Honestly, I don’t think about the 20th and equalling Roger, for me it is just a Roland Garros victory.
“I have spent most of the most important moments in my career here. Just to play here is a true inspiration and the love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable.”
Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros by numbers
13 – no other player has won as many Grand Slam singles titles at one place
15 – the number of years since his first Grand Slam title, only Serena Williams’ wins have spanned a longer period
100 – Nadal is the first player to reach a century of singles wins at Roland Garros