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Rafael Nadal wins record eighth French Open title

Rafael Nadal became the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final Sunday, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Nadal's march to the title started fitfully. He lost sets in the first two rounds for the first time in his career, but then rounded into form just in time for a clash with Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Nadal prevailed against the No. 1 Serb 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7 in a match that lasted nearly five hours.

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.

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"I'm very happy, very emotional," he said. "It's a very important victory for me."

However, the final was interrupted by a brief protest high in the stands during the second set that was quickly followed by an intruder leaping onto the court while brandishing a flare.

Security guards managed to bundle the man to the ground as he approached Nadal, and the player even took care to shake an official's hand before returning to the action.

"Just can I say thank you very much to all the security guys," he said afterwards. "They did just amazing work.

"They were very quick, and they were very courageous about what they did in the first moment."

Rafa was presented with his trophy by Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt, who had been sitting in the VIP Box with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

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