Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Nadal tops Djokovic in Paris: 9th French Open, 14th major

APTOPIX France Tennis French Open

Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy after winning the final of the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Nadal won in four sets 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

By
From page B1 | June 09, 2014 |

PARIS — Trying to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open is, without a doubt, the toughest task in tennis. Indeed, must be among the greatest challenges in all of sports.

The pressure he applies, from set to set, game to game, point to point, shot to shot. That bullwhip of a high-bouncing, topspin lefty forehand. Those quick-reflex returns that help him break an opponent’s serve — and his will.

Doing what he does so well on the red clay of Roland Garros, a surface and site he dominates so completely, the No. 1-seeded Nadal wore down No. 2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in a muggy final Sunday to win his ninth French Open championship and fifth in a row, both records.

“For me,” Nadal said, “playing here in Roland Garros is just unforgettable, forever.”

It is also his 14th Grand Slam title overall, tying the 28-year-old Spaniard with Pete Sampras for the second most by a man, behind only Roger Federer’s 17.

That includes Nadal’s two trophies apiece at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, along with one from the Australian Open, proving he can beat the best on grass and hard courts, too. But it’s on the clay of Paris where Nadal reigns supreme: He has won 66 of 67 career French Open matches.

Since the only loss, against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009, Nadal has won 35 consecutive matches at Roland Garros.

No other man has won more than seven titles at any of tennis’ four majors.

“It’s not impossible, but it’s very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court, throughout the whole match, on the highest level of performance,” said Djokovic, who was broken in the final game of each set, including with an anticlimactic double-fault on match point.

Nadal ensured that he, not Djokovic, will be ranked No. 1 on Monday. In the process, Nadal once again prevented six-time major champion Djokovic from completing a career Grand Slam.

“He deserves to win this tournament,” Nadal said. “I am sure he will do it in the future.”

Djokovic had won their four most recent matches, including on clay in the best-of-three-set final at Rome last month. Beating Nadal in best-of-five is a whole other matter.

Nadal also topped Djokovic in the 2012 final, and the 2013 semifinals. In all, Nadal leads Djokovic 6-0 at the French Open, 9-3 at major tournaments, and 23-19 in total. No other pair of men has played each other as often.

The defeat in Rome was one of three this season on clay for Nadal, raising questions about whether he’d be unbeatable at Roland Garros this time. There also was the matter of his troublesome back, which flared up during a loss to Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final and slowed his serve at times during the French Open.

For 3 1/2 hours Sunday, when the sky was crystal clear and the temperature touched 80 degrees (27 Celsius), Djokovic gave everything he had, even spitting up on court.

“I played at the maximum of my power, my strength, and my capability,” Djokovic said, “but Rafa was the best player.”

Using his backhand to great effect against Nadal’s forehand early, Djokovic grabbed the first set, and got to 5-all in the second.

“I felt,” Nadal said, “the match was more in his hands at the beginning.”

Knowing that overcoming a two-set hole might be too much even for him, Nadal raised his level, taking 20 of 26 points to claim that set and a 3-0 lead in the third.

“Without that second set, I don’t know if I have this trophy with me now,” Nadal would say later.

When a down-the-line forehand winner ended the second set, Nadal leaped and shook both fists, his first sign of real emotion.

“The momentum went (to) his side,” Djokovic said. “I started playing quite bad and didn’t move as well. Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set.”

That was apparent. His cheeks were flushed. He put his hand on his heaving chest. He wobbled and nearly fell over while sitting on his changeover bench.

Still, after trailing 4-2 in the fourth, Djokovic made one last stand. As skilled a retriever as his formidable foe — Djokovic won 10 of the first 15 points that lasted at least 10 strokes — he came up with a desperation defensive lob that landed right near the baseline, drawing a netted overhead from Nadal to earn a break point. Soon, it was 4-all.

But Nadal steadied himself to hold to 5-4, then broke one last time. Soon enough, he was clutching the French Open trophy, his trophy.

 

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

Everyone can benefit from ‘the talk’

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9