Nadal wins eighth French Open title

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PARIS — There was never any question that the Spanish national anthem would be played for the French Open men’s singles winner Sunday.

By Google News

And for most tennis watchers, there was no doubt which Spaniard would be the one to hold the trophy aloft.

Rafael Nadal cemented his reputation as the sport’s greatest-ever exponent on clay by scything down countryman David Ferrer, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, to harvest a record-extending eighth French Open title. No man has ever claimed the same Grand Slam tournament as many times, or won as many matches, 59, on the red clay of Paris.

Nadal (27)has failed to conquer Roland Garros only once since 2005, when he won the French Open in his first try, and on Sunday neither the tenacious play of his 31-year-old compatriot nor the histrionics of some protesters — including one man who tried to storm onto the court with a lighted flare — could impede his march to a 12th major title.

Only Swiss virtuoso Roger Federer, with 17, owns more Grand Slam titles among active men’s players.

Nadal now ranks third on the all-time list of major winners, moving past former greats Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver to tie Roy Emerson. Federer and Pete Sampras, with 14, are the only players ahead of him.—Google News