But it was just the break Nadal needed to settle down en route to a four-set victory and his seventh career French Open title, the most by any man in history. Nadal now has 11 Grand Slams titles overall, fourth most of any man. He is tied with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. One more and he will tie Roy Emerson.
But there is still work to do if Nadal wants to be considered the greatest player ever. It is often noted how good he is on clay. And Nadal has won Wimbledon twice and the U.S. Open and Australian Open once each. But he won't catch Roger Federer on French Open championships alone. The next push for the 26-year-old Spaniard starts next month. He has reached the final at Wimbledon the last five times he has played the event. But he's still not a lock and maybe not even the best bet.
"I wouldn't necessarily say that if Nadal wins the French that he's the favorite at the Wimbledon," ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe said last month. "I think I would say that about Djokovic because he's a little more comfortable making that quick switch. But obviously Nadal's been amazing the last couple of years. He's been almost as effective on grass as he's been on clay."
- Brian McNally