Nadal lifts French Open for 7th time

Updated: June 12, 2012

Novak Djokovic’s bid to become only the third man in tennis history to hold all the Grand Slam titles simultaneously ended in failure on Monday as the world No1 lost the rain-interrupted French Open final to Rafael Nadal.

The Serb had been looking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to achieve the remarkable feat, but saw his hopes crushed by the Spanish matador.

Resuming 2-1 ahead in sets but trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Nadal showed all his ring craft on Roland Garros’ red dirt, breaking immediately upon the resumption before eventually prevailing 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

In doing so, Nadal claimed a record seventh French Open title, eclipsing the record he shared with Swede Bjorn Borg who won six titles between 1974-1981.

The victory also sees Nadal, 26, draw level with Borg and Laver on the list of all-time Grand Slam winners list with 11, one behind Roy Emerson, three behind Pete Sampras (14) and now just five shy of the record held by Swiss maestro Roger Federer (16).

The Spanish world No2, playing in his 16th Grand Slam final, also took his Paris record to a staggering 52 wins against just one loss.

For five-time major winner Djokovic, the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champion, it was the end of his dream of emulating Don Budge (1938) and Laver (1962 and 1969) by holding all the Grand Slams at once.