Roger Federer hails Rafael Nadal's 'greatest achievement'

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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

Roger Federer saw Rafael Nadal equal his all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles with a 13th French Open victory on Sunday and hailed it as "one of sport's greatest achievements".

Nadal demolished Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to add a 13th Roland Garros to his four US Opens, two Wimbledons and one Australian Open crown.

"I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and a champion," tweeted Federer, who sat out the tournament to recover from knee surgery.

"As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players.

"Therefore it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.

"It is especially amazing that he has won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times which is one of the greatest achievements in sport. I hope the 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us."

Federer won his 20th and most recent Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open and despite having already turned 39, the Swiss star still intends to return to action in 2021.

"I think he's happy when I'm winning and I'm happy when he's doing the things well," said Nadal.

"It means a lot the positive relationship that we have together because we have been going through a great rivalry for a very, very long time."

Leading men's Grand Slam title winners after Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in the French Open final on Sunday:

20 - Roger Federer (SUI)

20 - Rafael Nadal (ESP)

17 - Novak Djokovic (SRB)

14 - Pete Sampras (USA)

12 - Roy Emerson (AUS)

11 - Rod Laver (AUS), Bjorn Borg (SWE)

10 - Bill Tilden (USA)

Rafael Nadal's path to his 13th French Open title on Sunday (x denotes seeded player):

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)

1st rd: bt Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

2nd rd: bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-1, 6-0, 6-3

3rd rd: bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-0

4th rd: bt Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-1, 6-1, 6-2

QF: bt Jannik Sinner (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1

SF: bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x12) 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/0)

F: bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) 6-0, 6-2, 7-5

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