Rafael Nadal has called his defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic his 'best loss ever', while the victor believes he'll remember the match for the rest of his days as the pair recover from a mammoth five hours and fifty three minutes of tennis.

The final, which will go down in the record books as the longest grand slam in history, was a meeting of two champions who refused to give up in the face of pain and fatigue to eventually finish the match 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 in the early hours of Monday morning.

And while Nadal ultimately went down after leading 4-2 in the final set of the historic final, the Spaniard says he felt privileged to have such a big part in the action, and has admitted it was the toughest match he's ever taken part in.

"Physically it was the toughest match I ever played," Nadal said after the game.

"I think we played a great tennis match. It was I think a very good show in my opinion. I enjoyed being part of this event and this match. That's the truth.

"I wanted to win, but I am happy about how I did. I had my chances against the best player in the world today.

"So I just lost the final of a grand slam. I am not happy to lose the final, yes, but that's one of the losses that I am happy with in my career."

Djokivoc, currently number one in the world, said that cementing his spot as the world's current best was like a dream, particularly being able to defeat the man who at one point looked unbeatable in world tennis.

"I think it's, under the circumstance, definitely the greatest match I've ever played," Djokovic admitted.

"The match could have gone either way, it was a match lasting nearly six hours and adding to all that is a grand slam final and a win against my biggest rival."

"I slept for only a couple of hours but it was worth it," he added. "It really was something, what we both put in on the tennis court was incredible and it's something we'll both remember forever."

Nadal and Djokovic were both coming off massive displays in the semi-finals, with the former beating Roger Federer in four sets, and the latter taking Andy Murray out in five. And their showings just 48 and 24 hours later respectively was a true testament to the unbelievable stamina that tennis players need to achieve a top seeding.

Djokovic will now take time away from the competitive game until the French Open on May 27-June 10.

Djokovic celebrates sealing the win after nearly six hours.REUTERS
Nadal reacts with disappointment after being 4-2 up in the final set to lose the mammoth match.REUTERS
Djokovic falls to the floor, having fought fatigue for many hours to beat Nadal.REUTERS
No victory has been sweeter for Djokovic.REUTERS