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Rediff.com  » Sports » Nadal beats Ferrer to claim 8th French Open crown

Nadal beats Ferrer to claim 8th French Open crown

Last updated on: June 09, 2013 21:37 IST

Rafael Nadal made light work of fellow Spaniard David Ferrer to win a protest-interrupted French Open final 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday and become the first man to win eight singles titles at the same tournament.

 - Protestor with a flare interrupts final

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match pointThird seed Nadal, with a jaw-dropping 59-1 record at Roland Garros, collapsed on to the red clay after ending the contest on his first match point.

The match was briefly interrupted in the second set when a bare-chested protester ran onto Court Philippe Chatrier after letting off a flare before being dragged out by security.

The incident failed to derail Nadal, who prevailed after two hours 16 minutes in a one-sided final.

Earlier, two double faults and missed forehands from Ferrer allowed Nadal to take the second set 6-2. Nadal survived a break point in the opening game of the second set and then raced to a 3-0 lead.

Briefly, Ferrer found his feet and put up a staunch challenge and held his serve in the fourth game. Ferrer then nearly broke Nadal (four break points) in the fifth, before the World No 4 took the 5th game to have a 4-1 lead.

Nadal's pursuit of an eighth French Open title gathered momentum on Sunday when he won the opening set of the final 6-3 against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

The grey, dank and chilly atmosphere that greeted the players on Philippe Chatrier Court was certainly not to Nadal's liking but he soon warmed to the task of grinding down an opponent whom he had trounced in their last 16 claycourt clashes.

A wild forehand from Ferrer handed Nadal the first break of the match for a 2-1 lead but the fourth seed hit back immediately by employing some astute baseline tactics.

A brilliant backhand down the line winner after he had lured Nadal into the net with a dropshot brought up break point.

He then engaged the seven-times champion into a lengthy rally which Nadal ended by ramming a backhand into the net to relinquish his serve.

Watched on by the fastest man on earth, Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt, who followed proceedings behind a pair of dark glasses despite not a ray of sun in sight, Nadal went a break up again in the seventh game.

He outwitted the 31-year-old Ferrer with a backhand passing shot winner to go 4-3 ahead but was in danger of surrendering the advantage in the next game when a misjudged lob floated long to hand his rival break point.

A blistering forehand winner took care of that problem and Ferrer meekly surrendered his next service game by slicing a backhand into the net to lose his first set at this year's tournament.

Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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