Paris - Rafael Nadal clinched a record
seventh French Open title on Monday, defeating world number one Novak
Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 and shattering the Serb's dream of Grand
GALLERY: Men's French Open final
GALLERY: Women's French Open final
In a fractious final pushed into a third week for
only the second time because of Sunday's rain, the Spanish world number
two, playing in his 16th Grand Slam final, also took his Paris record to
a staggering 52 wins against just one loss.
Victory, which was
achieved on a Djokovic double fault, allowed him to break the tie for
six French Opens he shared with Bjorn Borg.
It was the
26-year-old's 11th Grand Slam title, taking him one behind Roy Emerson,
three off Pete Sampras and five away from the record of 16 held by Roger
For five-time major winner Djokovic, the Wimbledon, US
Open and Australian Open champion, it was the end of his dream of
emulating Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) by holding all
the Grand Slams at once.
He was left to regret his unforced error count of 53 which undermined his challenge.
Sunday's suspension, the players, meeting in a fourth successive Grand
Slam final, resumed with Nadal leading 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2, but with
Djokovic in the ascendancy and serving for a 3-1 lead in the fourth set.
a forehand error from Djokovic, with the court at his mercy, gave Nadal
a break point and the Spaniard seized it when the Serb had been left
flat-footed by a net cord which allowed his opponent to push through a
The set remained tight as would be expected with the pair meeting for a 33rd time.
moved to 5-4 as the umbrellas went up all around Philippe Chatrier
Court and the players sat courtside to wait out a passing, heavy shower
and complained to tournament referee Stefan Fransen about the slippery
Djokovic finally buckled when a monster forehand from
Nadal set up championship point which he converted when the top seed
tamely served up a fourth double fault.
The celebrations were
ecstatic as Nadal fell to his knees and consoled Djokovic before the
champion climbed into the player's box to embrace his family.
Sunday, Djokovic had looked down and out at one stage, even picking up a
warning for destroying his courtside chair box with his racquet.
slipping two sets down, he was also a break behind at 0-2 in the third
before he reeled off eight games in succession to take the third set --
the first lost by Nadal in this year's event -- and lead 2-0 in the
The first game of the fourth set had featured a gruelling 44-shot rally.
Nadal had raged at tournament referee Stefan Fransen for having to keep
playing as the court became increasingly treacherous.
stormed, Djokovic, who had been two sets to love down to Andreas Seppi
in the fourth round, and saved four match points in his quarter-final
victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seized his chance to get back into the
The last time a French Open men's final failed to be
completed on the last Sunday was 1973 when it was played on the Tuesday
with Ilie Nastase beating Niki Pilic.
Monday finishes have become
common at the US Open in New York with the last four finals taking place
on the extra day while the 2001 Wimbledon final was also completed on a
Roland Garros will eventually avoid late finishes as a main court with a retractable roof is to be built in 2017.
2012 French Open winners:
Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (2), Spain
Women's Singles - Maria Sharapova (2), Russia
Men's Doubles - Max Mirnyi, Belarus, and Daniel Nestor (1), Canada
Women's Doubles - Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (4), Italy
Mixed Doubles - Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi (7), India
Under 45 Legends - Albert Costa and Carlos Moya, Spain
Over 45 Legends - John and Patrick McEnroe, United States
Women's Legends - Lindsay Davenport, United States, and Martina Hingis, Switzerland
Boys' Singles - Kimmer Coppejans (6), Belgium
Girls' Singles - Annika Beck (2), Germany
Boys' Doubles - Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios, Australia
Girls' Doubles - Daria Gavrilova and Irina Khromacheva (2), Russia
Men's Wheelchair Singles - Stephane Houdet (2), France
Women's Wheelchair Singles - Esther Vergeer (1), Netherlands
Men's Wheelchair Doubles - Frederic Cattaneo, France, and Shingo Kunieda, Japan
Women's Wheelchair Doubles - Marjolein Buis and Esther Vergeer (2), Netherlands