Rafael Nadal French Open title
Rafael Nadal bites the trophy after winning the French Open final against Novak Djokovic.Reuters

Defending champion Rafael Nadal held off stern resistance from the second seed Novak Djokovic, to win his ninth French Open crown and retain top-spot in the ATP rankings at the Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.

The King of Clay after going down in the first set, made a superb comeback to clinch the second, which set the tone of the match and he went on to clinch next two sets and won the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal became the first man to raise the Coupe des Mousquetaires for the fifth straight time.

"It was very important for me to win that second set," said Nadal. "Without that second set, I don't know if I would have this trophy with me now."

This was the 14th major title for the Spaniard and he now stands on second spot with legendary Pete Sampras in the Grand Slam title-winners list. He is only behind Swiss Roger Federer, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles.

"Federer has 17 and I have (won) 14 Grand Slams," said Nadal. "(Breaking the record), it's not a source of motivation for me. I'll follow my own path. Then when my career is over, we'll count. I don't really care that much about the records."

"I'll still play with a lot of intensity," he added. "I'll still be motivated. To me, winning is the result, the equivalent of lots of effort. Therefore, I feel more serene and personally I'm very satisfied."

Rafael Nadal Celebrates
Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic.Reuters

The world number two was all set to pull off an upset at the centre court after taking the first set, but Nadal shifted the momentum and was in total control of the match, afterwards. The top seed maintained his 100 per cent winning record against the Serbian, who was bidding to win his first French Open title.

"In matches like this every moment is crucial. Playing against Novak is always a big challenge, I had lost against him the last four times," Nadal said. "Sorry for him today, he deserves to win this tournament."

This was Djokovic's sixth defeat in the Roland Garros in as many attempts against Nadal, who has had an incredible record in his spiritual home. Nadal has an unbeaten 35 match streak in the French capital and he has lost only once here, against Robin Soderling in 2009.

Djokovic, though, became the first man to win the opening set against Nadal in the final, but couldn't complete the job. He, however, promised to comeback stronger next year to complete his career slam.

"Obviously his records speak for themselves," said Djokovic. "He has won this tournament now nine times. It's very impressive... He has lost only once in his career on centre court. It's definitely not easy best of five to play against him in these conditions."

"Congratulations to Rafa and his team, it is incredible to win this tournament nine times," Djokovic said. "It was an emotional day. I have tried with all my power, my strength, my capacities but Rafa was the strongest on court. To my team: this trophy is not for us this year but we will try again and again."

Watch the highlights of Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.