Tennis

Blog: Nadal wins eighth French title

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Rafael Nadal is the first man in the Open era to have eight Grand Slam titles at the same event after winning Sunday's French Open final over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

French Open men's final
 
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3 Rafael Nadal
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4 David Ferrer
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It was yet another display of Rafa's dominance on clay, but what everyone is talking about is a masked lunatic who ran on the court and managed to ignite a flare within a few feet of Nadal before being taken off court by security.

The man ran onto the court during the seventh game of the second set. You can see the moment he hit the court here:

For more details, we'll keep this story updated throughout the day. You can also click here for a full photo gallery of the incident.

As for the match itself? You can recap the action with our live blog from the events below.

12:06 p.m. ET -- McEnroe then asks Nadal the same question. And it leads to this classic exchange:

McEnroe: Tell me about this crazy idiot on the court. How did that affect you?

Nadal (confused): Usain?

Once they sorted it out, Nadal said he was "a little bit scared" but complimented the Roland Garros security staff.

12:02 p.m. ET -- John McEnroe asks Ferrer if the guy on the court affected. Ferrer, always modest, says, "A little bit."

12:00 p.m. ET -- Have another bite, Rafa:

11:55 a.m. ET -- Lengthy, gracious speeches from Ferrer first, then Nadal. Bolt stands awkwardly. Do we think he knows Spanish?

11:46 a.m. ET -- Usain Bolt is on the court to great applause. Even Nadal is impressed.

11:28 a.m. ET -- No doubt about! An easy hold gives Rafael Nadal his fourth straight French Open crown and eighth in the last nine years. Kudos to both players for carrying on after the shenanigans from earlier.

11:25 a.m. ET -- And Nadal gets his break edge. He will now serve for his eighth French Open title.

11:19 a.m. ET -- Tough hold for Nadal. Still on serve here headed to the latter stages of the third.

11:11 a.m. ET -- A fan begins coughing during Ferrer's serve toss, causing another little hubbub. The players manage to laugh this one off. Ferrer falls behind 0-30 but bounces back to hold.

11:06 a.m. ET -- Ferrer holds at love. Rain is falling again. All bets are off right now.

11:00 a.m. ET -- Nadal started off just fine in the third set, holding and breaking for a quick 2-0 lead. But then Ferrer punched back with a break. Unclear, of course, how much the events of the previous set are affecting everyone here. But the consistency of play has wavered.

10:49 a.m. ET -- Well, Ferrer is just as affected too. He coughs up the game with loose errors and a double fault. Nadal's a set away, but the whole place seems rattled right now.

10:44 a.m. ET -- It seems the events of the last 10 minutes have shaken Nadal. He struggles mightily with his serve in the next game and is broken. Easily. Ferrer still has life in the second set.

10:40 a.m. ET -- What the heck is going on in Paris? A lunatic runs on the court and manages to ignite a flare a little too close for comfort in the vicinity of Nadal. He's quickly dispatched and the flare is extinguished, but wow. How does that still happen in the aftermath of Monica Seles? Lock it up, Roland Garros.

10:39 a.m. ET -- Nadal, meanwhile gets another break. Ferrer fights off a few break points in the sixth game, but it's just not to be. Nadal will serve for the set.

10:36 a.m. ET -- If you had sixth game of the second set for the moment when protesters would disturb the match, you win. The demonstration is quickly squashed, even faster than Nadal is dispatching Ferrer.

10:31 a.m. ET -- Wow. Only word for the fifth game of this set. Ferrer jumps out to a 15-40 lead on Nadal's serve, causing Rafa to start sweating the slippery conditions. Nadal saves both break points, then Ferrer earns another. Nadal saves that, then Ferrer pounces on a lazy second serve to get a fourth break point of the game.

That sets up the point of the match. An extended rally with lots of grunts. It ends with Nadal somehow flicking a hard cross-court backhand pass whizzing past Ferrer into the far corner. Another deuce. Nadal powers through the next two points to secure the hold. Whew.

10:20 a.m. ET -- A very long game in the rain ends in a Ferrer hold, fighting off more than one break point. But cheer up, everyone. Usain Bolt is in the house to present the trophy:

(Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

10:10 a.m. ET -- Well, the steamroller is cruising now. Nadal pulls out the big guns to secure in early break in the second. He had another crack at that running forehand up-the-line shot he loves and didn't miss it this time. He follows it up with a hold at love. Ouch, David.

10:03 a.m. ET -- Surprisingly, that's the first set lost by Ferrer in this tournament. He pops right back after the first-set disappointment and earns a break point in the first game of the second set, but Nadal hits his way out again.

9:54 a.m. ET -- A feeble end to the first set for Ferrer, as a double fault gives Nadal two looks at break point. And Rafa converts. Start polishing the Coupe.

9:49 a.m. ET -- Ferrer certainly not going to let Nadal just have this. He earns a break point on Nadal's serve, but Rafa -- as he tends to do -- finds a way out thanks to some fine serving. Chatter beginning to start online about how much time Nadal is taking in between points. Could a time violation play a role today?

9:43 a.m. ET -- Nadal holds, then breaks Ferrer on an insane backhand cross-court pass, somehow getting enough on it despite having to stretch for it. He's pretty good.

9:33 a.m. ET -- Ferrer follow the break with a hold. Nadal missed one of his patented running forehand hooking pass shots at 30-30 and it evoked emotions of surprise from fans and commentators. Ridiculous that he's so good we expect him to make that.

9:29 a.m. ET -- Ferrer breaks! Oh ye of little faith, Greg! Also, his parents (Pilar and Jaime) are in the crowd. A rare occurrence. Could they be the X-factor?

9:21 a.m. ET -- Nadal holds and breaks. The first step toward the inevitable here?

9:16 a.m. ET -- Ferrer starts with a hold to get us going. As our man Greg Couch put it:

9:00 a.m. ET -- We are live! The players are set to take the court as the action gets under way in Roland Garros.

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