He frequently frustrated Roger Federer during his attempts at history (keep reading, haters). Now, Rafael Nadal has done it to Novak Djokovic. He put the kibosh on the Djoker's bid to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four consecutive Slam titles, defeating the No. 1 player in the world 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, in a rain-delayed finish to the French Open.
The King, Benevolent Dictator and Demigod of Clay collected a record 7th Muskateers' Cup, surpassing Bjorn Borg's record. He snuffed out Djokovic's attempt at a comeback, breaking him in the first game of the 4th set.
Here's how BBC Sport described it:
The world number one pounded his head with his racquet strings, but the brutal treatment he was receiving from the opposite end of the net proved harder to halt.
Twice Nadal held to love, while Djokovic's serve continued to look vulnerable.
Djokovic's resolve and fight had seem him haul back four match points to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals, but he appeared drained as he gifted Nadal the championship without forcing him to play a return.
That's a nice, British way of saying Djokovic DOUBLE FAULTED ON MATCH POINT.
For a while there, Djokovic looked like he might be reprising his thrilling comeback against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Down 2 sets, Djokovic reeled in 6 consecutive games to win the 3rd, and broke Rafa early in the 4th, when officials suspended play for a second time because of a persistent, spitting rain.
I am disappointed about this loss because I thought I started to play better in the third set and felt like I could take this match to a fifth set."
But Djokovic said he didn't want to make excuses, noting that his third set comeback came after an earlier, 35-minute rain delay.
What's that Bible quotation? "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
Or, in this case, the champions and the runners-up.
Said Djokovic, summing it up: "That's the way it goes, and the better player won today."
He can draw some (cold) comfort from Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal blocked Fed from reaching a Grand Slam at the French Open finals in 2006 and 2007. He also thwarted Fed's first attempt to match Pete Sampras' record 14 Slam singles titles at the Australian Open in 2009.
It was enough to make a grown man cry.