Paris: Defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain on Sunday won a record ninth French Open title at the Roland Garros in Paris. He defeated Serbia’s 2nd seed Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.

The world number one Nadal lost the opening set 6-3 but struck back to win the second 7-5 and benefited from Djokovic’s lapse in form to take the third.

Both players started the match strongly on their service games until Djokovic, who is looking to complete a career grand slam in Paris, moved 40-15 up on Nadal’s serve in the eighth game. Nadal, who had trouble finding his range, saved the two break points with a forehand winner down the line and a big first serve but misfired on the third. The clay court master had two break points in the ninth but fluffed a forehand on the first and sent another long on the second as Djokovic held to take the first set when Nadal failed to return a booming forehand.

But after the first set, it was Nadal all the way to his ninth title triumph.