French Open: Rafael Nadal wins 7th Roland Garros championship

Rafael Nadal (L) hugs Novak Djokovic, who he beat in four sets to win the 2012 French Open.</p>

Rafael Nadal (L) hugs Novak Djokovic, who he beat in four sets to win the 2012 French Open.

Rafael Nadal has beaten Novak Djokovic in four sets to win the French Open for a record seventh time.

Nadal, of Spain, defeated Serbia's Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.

The men's final was played over two days, after bad weather interrupted it yesterday evening three games into the fourth set.

It took Nadal around an hour to close the deal this afternoon. Gallingly for Djokovic, the battle ended with a double-fault from the Serb on championship point.

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Despite the disappointing finish, Djokovic didn't make it easy for Nadal: he wrestled the third set back from 2-0 and went on to break at the start of the fourth, winning eight games in a row – a feat the Guardian described as "usually unthinkable" against Nadal on clay.

Nadal, regularly hailed as one of the greatest clay-court players the sport has ever seen, has now won more French Opens than anyone, ever, according to Agence France Presse. The previous record was held by Bjorn Borg of Sweden, who has six titles to his name.

"For me to have this trophy is something unforgettable – it's probably one of the more special moments in my career," Nadal told the crowd.

He has won the French Open every year but one since he debuted there in 2005, AFP said.

The defeat breaks a run of 27 straight wins for Djokovic, who hasn't lost a Grand Slam match since last year's French Open semi-final against Roger Federer, the BBC noted

The Serb is currently ranked World No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Nadal is No. 2.