AFTER EIGHT: Spain’s Rafael Nadal holds the trophy with seven inscriptions of his name after winning the French Open for the eighth time, defeating compatriot David Ferrer in three sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, in the final on Sunday. (Photo: Christophe Ena/The Associated Press)
Rafael Nadal became the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final Sunday, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Nadal broke the men’s record for match wins at Roland Garros, where he improved to 59-1, with his lone defeat against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009. (Photo by Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)
It took five thrilling sets for Rafael Nadal to defeat Novak Djokovic at the French Open on Friday — and that was just the semi-final. Nadal will defend his title at Roland Garros after beating the 26-year-old from Serbia 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7.
Nadal is on the verge of becoming the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event.
“I really am playing better here,” he said on Thursday. “I said I needed to make a change. I was confident that I can do it, and I did.” (Photo: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
In Saturday’s semi-finals at the Foro Italico, Federer held off a stiff challenge from rising Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (5), 6-4, and six-time Rome champion Nadal defeated sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 — a day after Berdych rallied to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
It will mark Nadal’s eighth consecutive final since his return earlier this year from a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury. As for Federer, who recently returned from a seven-week break from the circuit, it will be his first final of the year. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Six-time champion Rafael Nadal overcame one of the worst opening sets of his career to edge Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis (pictured) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 Thursday and reach the Italian Open quarter-finals.
Nadal’s performance, and sometimes sluggish movement on the court, raised questions about whether he will be able to successfully defend his title at the French Open. The year’s second Grand Slam starts in 10 days.
Nadal will next face fourth-seeded David Ferrer, who advanced when Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany withdrew because of dizziness. (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
He’s feeling better: Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his tennis match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, during the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament. (Photo: JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)