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Rafael Nadal captures eighth French Open crown

11:00 AM, Jun 9, 2013   |    comments
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PARIS - Rafael Nadal defeated David Ferrer in the final on Sunday to capture his eighth French Open crown.

Nadal continued his dominance of his countryman - he is 20-4 and has won nine in a row - with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

At the end, Nadal's celebration was subdued - a quick collapse to the clay - following the victory against friendly rival Ferrer, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final.

Eight, based on what he has showed this year, most certainly won't be enough.

He runs his record at Roland Garros to 59-1, the only loss coming to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009.

Nadal sat out seven months with a knee injury, returning in February. He has played nine tournaments, winning seven and reaching the final in the two he lost.

His road to the final began slowly, with opening-set losses in his first- and second-round matches. His play improved as the fortnight progressed, including a classic semifinal showdown against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Nadal held off Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7 in a match that lasted nearly five hours.

Nadal captures his 12th Grand Slam title, moving him into a tie for third place with Roy Emerson behind Roger Federer's 17 and Pete Sampras' 14.

Nadal broke three times in the opening set and won the final three games. He broke three more times in the second set, dominating with his combination of defense and superior power.

The second set was briefly interrupted by protesters, with one man jumping onto the court with a fiery flare spurting white smoke.

Following the protest, both Nadal and Ferrer appeared rattled, and both lost serve. Nadal was broken serving for the set at 5-1, Ferrer when he was serving to stay in the set at 2-5.

When the rankings come out on Monday, Ferrer actually will move ahead of Nadal, No. 4 to No. 5.

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