With an eighth French Open title, Rafael Nadal improves to 59-1 all time at Roland Garros.
With an eighth French Open title, Rafael Nadal improves to 59-1 all time at Roland Garros.
Petr David Josek/AP

PARIS (AP) Rafael Nadal has become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament after beating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Nadal broke the men's record for match wins at Roland Garros, where he improved to 59-1, with his lone defeat against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009.

For fans enthralled by Nadal's semifinal victory over top-ranked Novak Djokovic, Sunday's final may have seemed anticlimactic. But not for the champion, who hit a fallaway forehand winner on championship point, then tumbled to the clay he loves and covered his face to hide his emotions.

Nadal's path to the Roland Garros title was more arduous than usual, and he fell behind in each of his first three matches.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.