Rafa revels in emotional win
Spanish clay king in tears after landing fifth French Open crown
Rafael Nadal described Sunday's French Open win over Robin Soderling as the most emotional day of his career.
The second seed and overwhelming tournament favourite banished the memories of last year to reclaim his fifth Roland Garros crown with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 triumph over the player who ended his unbeaten run in the clay major.
Nadal, who now has seven grand slam titles to his name, wrapped up victory when fifth seeded Soderling netted a backhand before collapsing on to his back, clenching his fists and then bursting into tears as he sat on his chair.
"It's the most emotional day in my career," the Spanish left-hander told the crowd in French.
"I would like to congratulate Robin for his amazing two years here," Nadal added in English. "I am sorry for today but I played my best match against you, if I didn't I would have been impossible to beat you."
Soderling was gracious in defeat and claimed Nadal, who did not lose a set all fortnight, could go on to add to his five French Open titles.
"Five victories here is really amazing," said the Swede, who rises to sixth in the world rankings after reaching the Paris final for the second successive year. "If you continue to play like this, you will for sure have the chance to win many more.
"I will come back next year. I hope it will be third time lucky for me."
Nadal's fifth French Open title allowed him to dethrone Roger Federer as world number one and become the first player to book a place in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"When you qualify for the World Tour Finals you have to be very happy because it proves you have had a very good season," said the man from Manacor, who trails Bjorn Borg by a solitary Roland Garros title in the all-time standings.
"Playing in London is always a special feeling. I have amazing memories of London."