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Nadal makes it eight French Opens

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Rafael Nadal secured his eighth French Open title at Roland Garros, with a straight sets win over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. Given that Nadal spent seven months of last season out of action with a recurrent knee injury, it was arguably his most impressive Grand Slam victory.

The victory set a record for the most triumphs in a single slam and was Nadal's twelfth Grand Slam title. Just as with Serena Williams in the women's final, a giant of tennis seems suddenly revitalised. Nadal revealed that during the enforced absence through injury, there were times when he was unsure if he would be able to play again.

"I am a positive person but doubts are part of this life," Nadal said after lifting the trophy. "People who don't have doubts are so arrogant. Nothing is clear in this world. I worked as hard as I could to be here. If I didn't, it's certain that I would not be back."

The fitness work showed in the epic five set semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic, conclusive proof that Nadal had retained his competitive edge. Ferrer did not push him so hard, but Nadal has shown that he is almost invincible on the Roland Garros clay.

In a one-sided match, much of the action came from the crowd, where there were numerous protests concerning children's rights and against gay marriage. The most dramatic was a masked man who rushed onto court brandishing a flare.

Nadal was briefly distracted, then went back to work, blowing away Ferrer and reiterating his dominance of the French Open one more time. He moves onto the next Grand Slam in ominously good form, still wary of that knee, not thinking about Roger Federer's record. "My perspectives are normal," he said. "Winning 17 grand slam titles? I'm not even thinking about it. The next tournament is Wimbledon, fine."

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