For the 3rd year in a row and the 7th time in his illustrious career, Rafael Nadal is the French Open champion.
This time, it took 4 sets stretched out over 2 days (thanks to a rain delay yesterday) to beat Novak Djokovic, the #1-ranked player in the world.
With his 7th win at Roland Garros, Nadal breaks a tie with Bjorn Borg and now he alone holds the record for most French Open wins.
Nadal has won every year since 2005, with the exception of an injury-riddled 2009, when he lost in the 4th round to eventual runner-up Robin Söderling.
Nadal's win also gave Djokovic his first loss in a Major since last year's French Open, and prevented Djokovic from becoming the first player to hold all 4 major championships at the same time since Rod Laver did it in both 1962 and 1969.
This win virtually cements Nadal's status as the greatest clay court tennis player of all time. Now, he's tied with both Borg and Laver for 4th all-time with 11 total Grand Slam championships, but 7 of those came on clay.
He also has the record of consecutive match wins on clay, with 81 straight, between 2005 and 2007. The 2nd longest streak on clay is 53 matches, by Guillermo Vilas in 1977.
At only 26 years old, Nadal likely has at least 4-5 more years of extremely high level tennis left in him. He might have even more, particularly on clay, where he excels the most.
When all is said and done, there will likely be no doubt that Nadal is by far the greatest clay court player in history, and among the best in the sport on ANY surface.
Congrats to Nadal on another excellent win.
Rafael Nadal wins 2012 French Open