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5 greatest French Open matches in the Open Era

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Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic, 2014 final

He is considered the best clay court player of all time, and it is not without reason. Over the years, Rafael Nadal has amassed a mammoth nine titles on the clay courts of Roland Garros, and this year will look for his tenth – a lead-up to the Spaniard’s La Decima.

In flagging form and dealing with injuries over a lackluster 2015, Nadal may not have had the ideal start to 2016 after his first-round ouster from the Australian Open; the clay court season, however, has been his time to shine. With wins at the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open (a ninth time for each tournament), Nadal has been in resurgent form and, thankfully for the player and his fans, free of injury.

The finals of the 2014 French Open saw four-time defending champion Nadal in the quest for his fifth title. Up against an in-form top-ranked Novak Djokovic, Nadal saw the first set scalped off of him 3-6, with the Serb quickly taking the upper hand.

And then, Nadal came back with a renewed passion with long, powerful rallies and some of the most precise placement fans have seen from the Spaniard.

Closing things up with a drop shot and an error by Djokovic, an ecstatic Nadal fell to his knees celebrating his ninth win at Roland Garros.

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