Rafael Nadal of Spain won a record-equalling sixth French Open title when he beat Roger Federer of Switzerland 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 at the Rolland Garros on Sunday. With this win he equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six wins at the French Open.
Reigning champion Nadal was outplayed for seven games in the first set as he fell 5-2 behind but reeled off five games in a row, including saving a set point.
Federer, who won the last of his 16 Grand Slam titles at the 2010 Australian Open, started with a confident service game on a humid day on court Philippe Chatrier.
Playing an all-out attack Federer snatched his opponent's serve on his fourth opportunity when Nadal surprisingly spun a short forehand into the net.
“Roger, Roger!”, the 15,000 centre court crowd chanted as the 2009 champion comfortably held for 3-0 courtesy of a couple of thumping aces.
Looking rattled, Nadal had a blister powdered by the trainer during the changeover at 5-2 down.
Third seed Federer came out all guns blazing in the eighth game, eeking out a set point on Nadal's serve which the Spaniard saved as a Federer drop shot floated just wide.
It proved a crucial moment as Nadal suddenly found his range with his forehand to get Federer on the run.
Federer's first serve let him down when he served for the set at 5-3 and Nadal pounced to break back when Federer netted a volley when his opponent, at full stretch, unleashed a stunning forehand.
Hitting deeper and deeper, Nadal broke again in the 11th game as Federer's level began to dip and he sealed the first set with a huge crosscourt forehand winner after 62 minutes.
Nadal continued his momentum into the second set to break in the first game and then holding serve to love to move 2-0 up.
Federer began to look a little forlorn and had to save three break points in the fifth game.
However, the Swiss hung on and broke back for 4-4 when Nadal mishit a backhand into the net, triggering huge roars from the fans who clearly wanted the match to go long.
Federer immediately dropped serve when he fired a backhand wide, leaving Nadal to serve for the set.
With Nadal on set point rain began to fall and after Federer won the point to bring the score to deuce the rain grew harder and the players went back to the locker rooms.
After a 10-minute break Nadal came out to earn a second set point but Federer saved it and then broke for 5-5 when the Spaniard framed an ugly forehand high and wide.
Federer confidently held but Nadal responded to set up a tiebreak which Federer was never in. Nadal won it 7-3 with a rasping crosscourt winner.
Nadal was made to work hard to hold serve in the fifth game but weathered the storm with some powerful forehand winners.
The Spaniard looked on the verge of the title when he moved 4-2 ahead by breaking the Federer serve to love but he could not make it stick and the Swiss replied in kind with a break to love. With the crowd willing him on Federer found his best form, producing some stunning angles and drop shots.
Daniel Nestor of Canada and Max Mirnyi of Belarus won their first Grand Slam title together by defeating Eduardo Schwank of Argentina and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4 in the Men's doubles final on Saturday
Keywords: French Open