Spaniard Rafael Nadal has won the French Open in a three set match against his compatriot David Ferrer. The win adds to Nadal’s already impressive record at Roland Garros and puts the 27-year-old into the record books.
Rafael Nadal won the first two sets, 6-3 and 6-2, becoming the first man in the Open era to win the same grand slam tournament eight times.
The tennis tournament third seed dropped to the damp red clay surface after winning the contest Sunday with a falling forehand winner on his first match point.
Despite a good start for Ferrer, Nadal had been in control of the match on Roland Garros' Court Philippe Chatrier when it was interrupted in the second set. A man wearing a white mask jumped from the stands and ran up to Nadal, lighting a flare. The protester - apparently determined to make a point about France's same-sex marriage law - was bundled away by security staff.
Although the incident startled Nadal, who double-faulted on a break point to lose the game he was leading, the champion came back to clinch the second set, and eventually won the third 6-3.
The win topped Nadal's sensational return from a knee injury that has seen him win seven titles out of nine finals. Nadal has won 59 of his matches at Roland Garros, and has only lost one.
"Thanks to everyone in my family and team. Without their support, especially when I was out of action, this would have been impossible," said Nadal. "Thanks also to everyone who sent me messages on Twitter and Facebook. They all gave me positive energy for today."
Despite winning the tournament, Nadal actually drops down the world ATP rankings from fourth to fifth place.
rc/dr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)