Monday, 10 June 2013

KING OF CLAY! Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer in straight sets to win French Open for a record eighth time

Rafael Nadal became the first man ever to win eight singles titles at a single grand slam with a straight-sets win over Spanish compatriot David Ferrer at the French Open.

After powering one final forehand uppercut into the open court, Rafael Nadal performed the obligatory ­modern victory celebration — lying down on his back in the wet clay of Court Philippe Chatrier.

The third seed dominated the match to win 6-3 6-2 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes, making it seven titles from nine tournaments since his return from seven months out with a knee injury in February.

Nadal has now won 12 grand slam titles and 59 matches from 60 at Roland Garros, more than any other male player.

The final was dramatically interrupted in the second set by a masked protester carrying a flare who jumped onto Court Philippe Chatrier but was quickly tackled by security. Nadal, who will drop behind Ferrer to number five in the world despite his victory, was presented with the Coupe des Mousquetaires by sprint king Usain Bolt.

The 27-year-old said: "It's one of the most special ones. In the last year I have had some low moments but without my family I would not have done this. Without my physio I could not have done this. I never realised something like this could happen for me."

It was difficult to find anyone at Roland Garros giving Ferrer much chance of even winning a set.

Only Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, the man Nadal has tormented for much of the past decade, remain ahead of him.

However, with his triumph on Sunday Nadal has become the first man since the First World War to win the same grand slam title eight times.

“I never like to compare years,” Nadal said after his 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 ­victory. “But it’s true that this year means something very special for me. Five months ago, nobody on my team dreamed about a comeback like this.”

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