Rafa Nadal wins historic eighth French Open
Rafa Nadal today won a career-defining French Open final to become the first male tennis player to win the same Grand Slam title eight times over. It's an incredible achievement which came with his 59th win out of 60 matches at Roland Garros in Paris. It's an astonishing record for a superhuman player, who only recently returned to competitive tennis after a lengthy period on the sidelines. If anyone ever wants to claim Nadal's moniker King of Clay they're certainly going to have their work cut out for them.
Nadal beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in straight sets with victory never looking in doubt. Sure, Ferrer broke service early on but Nadal answered that with consecutive breaks himself to rocket him into a runaway 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win. That scoreline may have made it look easy but Ferrer is certainly no soft touch: he hadn't lost a single set in the lead up to the final.
Ferrer's tenacity was commendable, but one man couldn't stand in the way of destiny. Just ask Novak Djokovic. The current world number one tried valiantly to halt Nadal in a breathtaking semi-final which went to a thrilling, if not emotionally and physically exhausting, fifth set tie-break. When Nadal booked that win, the historic eighth trophy was all but lifted.
Nadal, who has started playing poker as part of Team PokerStars SportStar, is now just five grand slam titles behind Roger Federer's 17, a number which is going to get closer and closer as the seasons roll by.
"I never realised that something like this could happen but here we are. I'd just like to say thank you very much to life for giving me this opportunity," said Nadal.
And we'd like to thank you for putting on such a great show. Rafa, we salute you!
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.