Novak Djokovic has vowed to come back and one day end his wait for French Open glory after suffering another final defeat to Rafael Nadal.
The Serbian star was on the wrong end of a 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 scoreline as his great rival secured his record ninth title at Roland Garros.
It means the wait to complete a Career Slam for Djokovic continues further. The six-time major winner has, for nearly three years now, been waiting to fill the remaining gap in his trophy cabinet. His wins at Wimbledon, the US Open and Australian Open are yet to be complimented by triumph in Paris.
The world no.2 was faced with tough conditions as the famous Philippe Chartier court basked in heat which suited his Spanish opponent more, and an even tougher crowd who were vociferous - and sometimes disruptive - in their support for Nadal.
After winning the first set, the 27-year-old's control over the fierce forearm of Nadal dwindled and the momentum of the contest turned.
As both men began to run out of steam, it was the world no.1 who had just enough left in the tank to secure victory as Djokovic served a double-fault at Championship point; a tame end to a titan tussle.
"It was a very emotional day and I gave everything," he said on-court after the match.
If the crowd had proved rather menacing during the marathon match, then they definitely warmed to the challenger afterwards as the Serb was bought to tears during a standing ovation with applause as he collected his runner-up trophy.
Djokovic thanked them for the support throughout the event and insisted he will win in Paris: "Thanks to the fans for all the passion and emotion they have shown throughout the tournament. The trophy was a bit too far out of reach this year but I will come back again and again until I win it."
After beating the likes of Ernests Gulbis, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic on the way to the final, Djokovic was unable to go all the way, yet again.
It's now three years in a row that the former world no.1 has come a cropper against the 28-year-old.
In the 2012 final it was another four set defeat in the final, while last year a monumental battle took place in the semis with Nadal winning the fifth and final set 9-7.
You may think that Djokovic must wonder what he must do to finally prevail, but he put his latest loss down to missed opportunities.
"He was a better player in the crucial moments," he continued.
"Of course, it's disappointing for me, but life goes on. It's not the first time or last time that I lost a match.
"It's not impossible, but it's very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court throughout the whole match on the highest level of performance."
There had been renewed hope this time around for the Serb, he came into this on the back of a win over Nadal at his traditional stronghold at the Rome Masters. That win in the Italian capital extended his winning run over the Majorcan to four after over successes at Indian Wells and Miami.
However it wasn't to be, and the wait goes on.
I tried to do my best. My best wasn't (as good) as the best against him in Rome a couple weeks ago," Djokovic concluded. "But, you know, it's how it is."
He must now pick himself up as the world of tennis descends upon Wimbledon later this month, Djokovic will be keen to add to his sole win in 2011. Andy Murray prevented him from doing so last year.
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