Nadal wins record seventh French Open title in wet Paris

Story highlights

  • Rafael Nadal moves past Bjorn Borg with record seventh Paris crown
  • Spaniard wins six of nine games played as final is resumed after Sunday's rain delay
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic had been seeking to make his own history
  • Serbian was trying to hold all four majors, which had not been done for 43 years

While Rafael Nadal climbed into the crowd to hug his friends and family after clinching a record seventh French Open title on Monday, Novak Djokovic sat disconsolate at the side of the court.

The world No. 1's bid to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four grand slams had come to a disappointing end -- with a double-fault.

One of the most anticipated finals in recent tennis history was largely sabotaged by wet weather, which meant the match was held over from Sunday for only the second time.

Second-ranked Nadal had been quickest out of the blocks after the resumption of play, breaking Djokovic's serve immediately, and even another downpour could not stop the Spaniard sealing a 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 victory as he won six of the nine games played.

It took the 26-year-old past Bjorn Borg's mark of six successes at the clay-court major and extended his winning record at the tournament to 52-1.

He has now joined the legendary Swede on 11 grand slam titles overall, along with Australian Rod Laver -- who was the last man to hold all four major titles at one time.

Rafael Nadal on French Open triumph
Rafael Nadal on French Open triumph


    Rafael Nadal on French Open triumph


Rafael Nadal on French Open triumph 00:52
Nadal win secures tennis history
Nadal win secures tennis history


    Nadal win secures tennis history


Nadal win secures tennis history 01:20
Sharapova: It's a special victory
Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Italy's Sara Errani during their Women's Singles final tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 9, 2012 in Paris.


    Sharapova: It's a special victory


Sharapova: It's a special victory 01:54

They trail another Australian, Roy Emerson, on 12, American Pete Sampras on 14 and Roger Federer -- beaten by Djokovic in Friday's semifinals -- on 16.

"It's an honor but the most important thing is this tournament. It's unforgettable, one of the most special moments in my career," Nadal said.

"It was a privilege to play against one of the best players in the world."

Djokovic, who lost in the semifinals last year, was left on five grand slams. He has won the Australian Open three times, including a record-breaking near six-hour final against Nadal in January, plus last year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open tournaments.

"I feel really privileged to be in this position, being in the final at Roland Garros for the first time," the 25-year-old said.

"The playing conditions were not good. But it's not anybody's fault, and it's not the reason why I lost today.

"He is definitely the best player in history on this surface, and results are showing that he is one of the best players that ever played this game, and he is only 26 years old. Hopefully we can have many more battles."

The tennis season now moves onto grass ahead of the next grand slam, Wimbledon, which starts in London on June 25. The Olympic tournament will also be held in the British capital.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.