Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer as it happened

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-3 6-2 6-3 to become the first man to win a Grand Slam singles title eight times.

9 June 2013 Last updated at 17:27

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As it happened

  1. 1725: 

    It has been a fortnight short on Brits, but high on drama with the French players providing a fair slice of the entertainment before two unarguable champions emerged.

    It is all over for another year, but while we have been typing, back in England another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, has been in action. He has beaten Freddie Nielsen, he of Jonny Marray Wimbledon doubles success, in qualifying at the Aegon Championships. The grass is beckoning, the All England Club is waiting, Wimbledon is coming.

    Stick with us on the BBC Sport website for the rest of a corking summer of tennis. Goodbye for now.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "If he stays fit, I can't see anybody beating Nadal. The semi-final could have gone either way, realistically only Djokovic can really test him. Murray will struggle to really trouble Rafa unless he has an off-day. On this form I'd say Nadal is favourite for Wimbledon."

  3. 1713: 

    As well as being one of the world's greatest sportsmen, Rafael Nadal is certainly one of the most polite and pleasant. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Nadal took time out to shake the hand of the security staff who wrestled the second-set court intruder to the floor and now he is posing with the ball kids and tournament officials for team photos.

    He is the sort of guy you would actively introduce to your sister.


    Freddie Camps-Harris: Nadal has bitten that trophy so many times, it must have his tooth marks on it

    LawrenceGarnerAllen: I haven't seen a more emotional Rafa after a victory. You can see just what this tournament, and achievement brings to him

  5. 1707: 

    Rafael Nadal passed another statistical milestone with victory today. He has now won more matches than any other player at the French Open with 59 wins on the Paris clay. His semi-final win over Noavk Djokovic had tied him level with Roger Federer and Guillermo Vilas on 58. Ivan Lendl and Jaroslav Drobny are the next most successful with 53 wins apiece.

  6. 1701: 

    Once the speeches of thanks and congratulations are done and dusted, Rafael Nadal gets a chance to taste the Brasso as he clamps his molars down on the trophy. The snappers lap it up, firing off the flashbulbs.

    Rafael Nadal
  7. 1657: 

    The difference between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer is not just stark on the scoreboard. The size of their cheques from the Roland Garros organisers also varies considerably. Nadal as winner takes home 1.5m euros (£1.27m), Ferrer has to make do with 750,000 euros (£638,000). Together they are probably a percentage increase to Spain's GDP at the moment.


    Lawrence Garner Allen: The utter persistence and mental strength from Rafa in the past year has been phenomenal. One of the greatest sporting comebacks!

  9. 1650: 

    The Spanish national anthem follows and Rafael Nadal bites his lip as the last notes ring out and the magnitude of how far he has come from being laid up at home to a record-breaking Grand Slam winner soaks in.

    Russell Fuller, BBC Radio 5 live at Roland Garros

    "Rafael Nadal shows the trophy to all sides of the court, and it is a very familiar feeling but this will be extra, extra special after the horrors of the last 12 months off court."

  11. 1648: 
    Champagne moment

    Rafael Nadal and Usain Bolt exchanges grins, matey words and back slaps as two 24-carat modern-day sporting greats collide. Then Nadal is off to the front of the on-court platform to lift the trophy to the sky.


    Sarah Murray via mobile on 81111: Return of the King. Fabulous, Rafa.

  13. 1646: 

    Now, time for Usain Bolt to do the honours and hand over the handsome Coupe des Mousquetaires. Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win the title back in 1983, was apparently asked to do the honours but decided not to. Probably just as well given some inconsiderate thoughts he made about Spanish sporting success being down to doping. Nadal was not amused.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "It's never happened before in the men's game, and Rafael Nadal has taken a place in tennis history."


    Ollie in Surrey via mobile on 81111: Players should be allowed to play into Nadal's tramlines when it comes to Roland Garros - he's just too good!


    Rafael Nadal: "It's one of the most special ones. In the last year I have had some low moments but without my family I would not have done this. Without my physio I could not have done this. I never realised something like this could happen for me."

  17. 1641: 

    Time to click the Grand Slam counter onto 12 titles for Rafael Nadal, one ahead of Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. It is his eighth French Open title - no player has won a single Grand Slam title more often.


    LawrenceGarnerAllen: History made! 8 triumphs at RG for Rafael Nadal. An unmatched feat! What an achievement, what an athlete, what a player!

    Michael Zhane: I don't know if Nadal is the greatest of all time, but frankly, who cares? He's one of the greatest and we're lucky to see him.

    James Stevenson: Quite superb. What a player. What a person. What a legend. Rafael Nadal.

  19. 1636: 

    There have been some dark days since his last title on Philippe Chatrier as he struggled with a serious knee injury, but Rafael Nadal is back and normal service continues with an eighth title. There are some tears backed up in the champions' eyes as he salutes the crowd. Uncle Toni's eyes were out on stalks on that final rally before he leaped to his feet to celebrate.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "There'll be a time when someone starts nipping at his heels, but he has such an amazing game. You can never simulate playing against Rafael Nadal with all the aspects to his game."

    Nadal 6-3 6-2 6-3 Ferrer

    Emotionless play followed by emotion-filled celebrations. Rafael Nadal romps to a 40-15 lead and even the over-excited shouts of the Parisian patrons on the first of two Championship points cannot scramble his unwavering concentration. A big serve and a whipped forehand - the most Nadal -esque way to finish - complete the job before the Spaniard is flat out on his back in the red dirt, fists clenched in front of his face.

    Champagne moment


    Rafael Nadal
    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 6-3 6-2 5-3 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal parks himself in the back corner on the court to give forehand full play on anything that David Ferrer sends over and duly finds the angle for 30-30. Ferrer strays long to give his compatriot break point but salvages the situation with a flashy forehand winner that skids through the whitewash. Gutsy shot to find in a tight situation. Another error follows though and Nadal has a second break point of the game. He does not even need to play a ball to convert it. A Ferrer double-fault follows and Nadal is a service game away from an unprecedented eighth French Open title.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Nadal has not found his rhythm at all in this set, apart from a few serves. It has been pretty patchy."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Nadal gives a significant look to his uncle Toni and friends in the stands, that was an important hold of serve as he looks to retain this championship."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Nadal 6-3 6-2 4-3 Ferrer*

    Rafael Nadal, struggling perhaps to apply quite the topspin revs that he is used to in the damp, heavy conditions, pushes a backhand long for 15-30, before landing a serve out wide and ripping a forehand back the other way to level at 30-30. David Ferrer is definitely getting Nadal on the move a little bit more though and suddenly he is the one asking question in the rally.

    A backhand into the net from the favourite brings up 30-40 and a break point. Again Ferrer forces Nadal to up the tempo on his footwork, but he flirts one too many times with the baseline and strays long. Nadal celebrates the saved break point with a hearty fist pump and he gets away for Ferrer to safety.


    Samuel Minns: Wimbledon should be interesting when Murray is fully fit.

    Shouma Khan: The only way Ferrer can beat Nadal is to get him to play right handed. And even then I have my doubts.

    Henry Taylor: Ferrer is at the top of his game, Nadal simply has gone above that.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "A rueful shake of the head from Nadal, who is disappointed at the way he played the last three points of that game.

    "The crowd are getting animated, they want the underdog to get back into this match."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    *Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-3 Ferrer

    David Ferrer swats a forehand between the trams to give Rafael Nadal a chance to get a crowbar into the game at 0-30. A big moment in the match and an inopportune one for someone's hayfever to play up. A sneeze from the posh seats stops Ferrer in the midst of service action. Daggers are shot from the server towards the offending pair of nostrils before a light-hearted comment from Nadal at the opposite end brings grins to both.

    Ferrer loosens up and a thumped forehand pierces the Nadal defences for 30-30 en route to a hold that had looked problematic.

    Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-2 Ferrer*

    After the breaks of serve and the outbreaks of politics at the end of the last set, both players look content to trade holds and catch their breath in the third. Rafael Nadal produces another workmanlike service game that David Ferrer nibbles a point off but nothing more.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "This is Ferrer's strength, he just nips away at an opponent until he can get back into a match."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    *Nadal 6-3 6-2 2-2 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal stiffens his lip and immediately jumps out and jogs to the baseline as the umpire calls time on the changeover despite the continuing rain. David Ferrer looks a little more reluctant, but once he is out there he takes to the damp conditions excellently. A hold to love with some angles that are not even on the protractor.

    FERRER BREAKS- Nadal 6-3 6-2 2-1 Ferrer*

    Well, well, well. Rafael Nadal comes off the boil slightly, netting a forehand to give David Ferrer a 0-40 lead and three break-back points. Nadal scrapes up a down-the-line winner to save the first, but cranks the power a little too high and blows a double-fisted backhand punch into the top of the tape to concede the second.

    As the players head to their stools, brollies bloom in the stands and this spell of rain looks like the heaviest so far during the match.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "You have to keep pinching yourself that this is Nadal's first Grand Slam tournament for almost a year since Wimbledon."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 6-3 6-2 2-0 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal is steamrollering his way down the home straight now. More spiteful clubbing from the baseline as he hits the ball like he hates it and he overwhelms David Ferrer to move a break ahead.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "I give a lot of credit to Rafa and the other guys for looking at Roger Federer and being determined to keep improving. His volleys are very good, his serve is better, but now he is just about the best volleyer in the game."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Nadal 6-3 6-2 1-0 Ferrer*

    Rafael Nadal whips off the opening game of the third set to love and the light at the end of the tunnel for David Ferrer is getting so tiny that he might come a cropper from rickets, if he does not get buried alive under an avalanche of Nadal groundstrokes.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "On the scoreboard it looks straightforward, but in reality Ferrer is making Nadal work very hard for his French title."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    GAME AND SECOND SET- *Nadal 6-3 6-2 Ferrer

    Is there anyone better than Rafael Nadal at putting a dodgy game or shot on the mental incinerator and coming back out firing on all cylinders again? The seven-time champion doesn't just break David Ferrer's serve, he shatters it into a thousand tiny pieces as he breaks to love to take the second set.

    And again he will get the sunny side of the scoreboard in the third set, serving first.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Breaking Nadal's serve was important for Ferrer's state of mind if nothing else. The task at hand now is to hold his own serve and somehow stay in this second set."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Nadal is all smiles now, but that was a very scary moment for both players. What an extraordinary thing to happen. He appeared to jump out from only two or three rows back near the umpire."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Intruder races onto court
    FERRER BREAKS- Nadal 6-3 5-2 Ferrer*

    High drama on court before a ball is even hit. A protestor carrying a red flare gets onto court at Rafael Nadal's end just as the Spaniard is preparing to serve. He does not get close to Nadal before he is mobbed by black-suited security guys who bundle him behind the scenes. There is a lot of touching of ears and scanning of the crowd by the security guys before they retreat and allow play to start.

    For a man who likes his water bottles lined up just right, a full court invasion is likely to dent your focus. Rafael Nadal hands over his serve meekly, picking up just one point before he heads back to his chair for a new racquet and to cleanse his concentration.


    Rebecca Smith: There is definitely just as much grunting and groaning going on here as in the women's match yesterday.

    Sayyad Azhar Hassan: Nadal so dominant at the French Open that it all seems like a foregone conclusion.

    Lawrence Garner Allen: Ferrer's high percentage play hasn't been as evident so far, but how are you meant to find a solution to Rafa on clay!

    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 6-3 5-1 Ferrer

    David Ferrer finds himself up against it at 15-30 before an untimely interruption ensues with a group of protesters in the top tier chanting away about a political cause. I'd tell you what it was, but I really don't know what the particular bee in their bonnet was.

    Nadal keeps his focus better to win the first point after the restart to bring up two break points and 15-40. Ferrer saves both of those and another from deuce, but Nadal pulls the trigger on a monster forehand and Ferrer's graphite is not getting a whiff of that one. Another break and Nadal will serve for the second set next.


    Ryan Judson: Should we just start talking about Wimbledon now because this final is as good as over. In truth it was before it started.

    Darsh: Rafa has lifted that trophy enough times. Now just give him the Eiffel Tower and get it done.

    Greg Matthews: I knew this final would be boring. Novak why could you not have won on Friday?

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Nadal hits his trademark backhand crossing shot like a rocket. His strength in those positions where he is off balance is extraordinary."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "That feels like it was a very significant game, now that Nadal leads 4-1 in the second set having fought off four break points."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Nadal 6-3 4-1 Ferrer*

    Time for David Ferrer to turn the screw and listen for a rattle in the Rafael Nadal serve.

    Ferrer pulls a nifty little backhand pass from around his bootstraps to bring up 0-30 and then attacks eagerly off his forehand to set up 15-40 and two break points. Nadal dusts off the first as he works his way around an inviting mid-court ball to unleash his forehand and Ferrer can only find the net on the second.

    Nadal slaps the chops off another cross-court forehand with bicep-bulging power, but a couple off the same wing head south to give Ferrer advantage and another break point. Ferrer pushes that one long, but that takes the Nadal second serve to the cleaners to set up his fourth break point of the game. A ding-donging rally - both men going toe-to-toe and whanging away from the back - ends as Ferrer comes forward and fails to do enough in response to a Nadal drop-shot. You know what is coming next. Nadal, with the accuracy of a circus knife-thrower, sends a winner whistling past Ferrer's ear at the net and dipping just inside the paint at the back.

    That is Ferrer's last chance of the game.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "That was a battle royal for Ferrer to hang onto his serve there. Ferrer is the player every youngster should model themselves on in terms of attitude."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    *Nadal 6-3 3-1 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal comes bounding off his chair at the start of the game. He has struck a rich seam of form and is keen to mine it for all it is worth before the weather can intervene. David Ferrer is rummaging around in his arsenal of shots trying to find a weapon that can hurt Nadal. Too often though he comes up clutching a cotton bud rather than a chainsaw.

    A ripped backhand is more like it from the man from Valencia, but is is Nadal who has all the real firepower. He smacks another clean forehand winner to bring up a break point from deuce. Ferrer saves that one, piles into the net to hand over a second and then bravely presses forward to salvage another. Finally Ferrer drags himself over the line to safety, but it's taking all his energy to keep a lid on the bubbling Nadal.


    Jack from Shropshire via mobile on 81111: This final accurately describes the gulf in class between the top four and the rest.

    Nadal 6-3 3-0 Ferrer*

    Rafael Nadal consolidates his break with a whistle-stop hold that David Ferrer does not lay a glove on. Might Ferrer be saved by the weather though? The rain has started coming down a lot harder as the game ends..

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Stunning stuff from Nadal with two forehand winners and a backhand winner."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.


    Shohidur Rahman: I don't see what Ferrer can do to change this match. He's already playing his best.

    Toby Foot: I thought Ferrer was the one who never made unforced errors. Not the case so far in this final.

    Clare Marsh: Would love Ferrer to win his first Grand Slam and maybe begin to step out of Rafa's shadow but I can't see it happening.

    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 6-3 2-0 Ferrer

    Just too good. Rafael Nadal sweeps a down-the-line winner off his backhand before leaving David Ferrer puffing his cheeks in exasperation as another pinpoint forehand whistles past him to convert the first break points. When these winners start flying off the Nadal racquet, you might as well take cover. Unless you are Novak Djokovic, you are not going to stand much chance of returning them.

    Rafael Nadal
    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Nadal is something else, it's hard to get past mentally tough players like Federer and there are some impressive competitors out here, even Ferrer despite his limitations."

    Nadal 6-3 1-0 Ferrer*

    David Ferrer nibbles off the first two points of the second set, and then brings a bit of forehand spice to the table with a walloped return that brings up 30-40 and an immediate chance to make inroads into the Rafael Nadal serve.

    Rafael Nadal milks the Ferrer backhand for an error, piling onto that wing with spitting forehand power. It is very difficult for Ferrer to wriggle off that hook when Nadal has him where he wants him. Ferrer finds a bit of comfort when he successfully targets the Nadal backhand, but the seven-time champion's footwork is good enough to get him round the ball most of the time. Nadal holds.


    Fahad Khan: I didn't hear anyone complaining when Federer was winning Wimbledon and US Open year after year.

    YVS Adita: Nadal has both the game and temperament to win Grand Slams. Ferrer has almost the game and no temperament. Nadal to win.

    Josh Jones: First set Nadal! Not his best set of tennis by a long way but done enough thus far

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- *Nadal 6-3 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal is finding his groove now and it is not a tune that David Ferrer can dance to. The favourite takes the opener with a sudden change of pace, closing out a break of serve with a backhand that is as cute as one of those kitten calendars.

    There is some ominous momentum building behind the favourite now. What can Ferrer throw between his spokes to slow him up?

    Nadal 5-3 Ferrer*

    David Ferrer's return normally ticks over like a dream but he pumps one long from a promising position at 15-30. It is death by a dozen forehand angles on the next point for Ferrer as Nadal manoeuvres him out of position, but Ferrer makes his way to deuce with a wrong-footing backhand which nails Nadal to the floor.

    Ferrer gobbles up a clumsy drop-shot to bring up a break point, but Nadal saves with a whipcrack forehand. Some canny, clever serving from Nadal as he deals from the bottom of the pack with a second serve out wide and an ace down the middle. Ferrer has nothing in his hand to match that and his chance to break has gone.

    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 4-3 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal has feathered the accelerator and immediately David Ferrer is struggling to keep pace. A pinging Nadal forehand, fizzing with topspin, spears the open court before Ferrer's touch is a little limp at the net to bring up 15-40 and two break points. Ferrer bravely takes on the Nadal forehand and places his shot well enough to get it away and save the first. Nadal loops one wide to waste the second, but he soon has a third to play with. And he plays it perfectly. From a defensive position on his baseline, Nadal digs out a pearl of a cross-court pass. No need for Photoshop on that one, it was an absolutely picture-perfect shot to seize the break.


    Will from Birmingham via mobile on 81111: Whilst what Nadal has achieved on clay is impressive, it has made the French Open dull and his inability to dominate in a similar manner on other surfaces undermines both clay and himself!

    Nadal 3-3 Ferrer*

    Rafael Nadal holds to love as he cuts down on the errors and trains fire on David Ferrer's backhand wing. It's been a bits-and-pieces start from the favourite, but that was tidier.

    There is a bit of drizzle coming down now, nothing heavy enough to force the players off, but enough to get the plastic ponchos unpacked in the stands.


    Alan McDevitt: Ferrer is out of his depth at this level. The final took place a couple of days ago.

    Michael Zhane: David Ferrer is standing up to Rafa well in these early stages. I want Rafa to win but I hope Ferrer keeps this up!

    Sam Bird: The sheer amount of top spin and dip on Nadal's forehand looks like too much for Ferrer already.

    *Nadal 2-3 Ferrer

    David Ferrer comes under the magnifying glass at 15-30 and opts to come to the net to relieve the pressure. Not many spotted that rush to the gauze coming. His backhand volley is solid, but Nadal is onto it and has a clear sight of open court for two break points. Nadal's punt is a whisker long though, confirmed by both Ferrer and the umpire's inspection of the mark in the clay. Ferrer presses home, whittling off the next two points to make his way home. Nadal is well short of the sky-scraping form that did for Novak Djokovic in the last four.

    Rafa Nadal
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "It's the competitive final we hoped for, vital for Ferrer to break back at the first time of asking."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    FERRER BREAKS- Nadal 2-2 Ferrer*

    Rafael Nadal's sights are a little wonky as he twice strays wide down the same corridor of clay - once on the forehand and then the backhand - to bring up 30-40 and a break-back point. Ferrer clumps long on return to waste it, but then loops a lovely little winner round his man at the net to bring up advantage and a second shot at Nadal's serve. This is more what we were expecting. A slug-fest of a point stretches on and on. People tittering nervously in the crowd as the ball scrapes over the net a couple of times while others attempt to shush them quiet. Finally Nadal duffs a simple backhand into the net to bring it all to an end and hand the break back to Ferrer.


    Toby Foot: How am I meant to revise while the the final is on?

    Callum Sheppard: It's inevitable... If Nadal wins the first set, there's no stopping him. I can imagine a close-fought match though.

    John Bennington: I can see absolutely no scenario today where Nadal doesn't demolish Ferrer.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ferrer must try to stay in touch with Rafa, who has unleashed a few big shots and is pummelling Ferrer's backhand."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    NADAL BREAKS- *Nadal 2-1 Ferrer

    Rafael Nadal's big forehand kicks up high on David Ferrer's backhand - that could be a common theme to this afternoon's action - to take him to 15-30 and apply the first bit of pressure to his compatriot's serve. Ferrer presses long on the next to make it 15-40 and two break points. Dear, oh dear. Ferrer is all over a patted return from Nadal on the first, but inexplicably plants his forehand well wide to give away the break. If his metronome consistency goes, Ferrer really will be in trouble.


    Ben McCarthy via mobile on 81111: If Nadal wins today it will be the perfect finale of a truly outstanding comeback.

    Nadal 1-1 Ferrer*

    David Ferrer is already racking up the miles, darting from his forehand corner to his opposite and back again in pursuit of Nadal's raking groundstrokes. So much side to side that David Ferrer has no puff left to chase down a dinky Nadal drop-shot which brings up 40-0. Ferrer is struggling to do more than get the ball back in court with all the chasing he is doing in rallies. Nadal misses with a rifled cross-court forehand winner on the next point to give away the first point against serve, but Ferrer pumps long to take Nadal level on the board.

    Pat Cash, BBC Radio 5 live

    "The conditions are very heavy, cold and chilly, the hands will be cold around the racket, you have to squeeze your fingers to get them going."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    *Nadal 0-1 Ferrer

    So, it's going to be a massacre is it? David Ferrer whistles through his first service game with a hold to love. Rafael Nadal cuffs a two-handed backhand into the net to bring up 30-0 before two monster serves from his compatriot carry the game off.

    David Ferrer
  75. 1413: 

    Warm-up done, last sips of water on board, bottles lined up just so by Rafael Nadal, and we are ready to begin. David Ferrer to serve.


    Tim Smith: Normally support the underdog... but just love Nadal so much. Come on Rafa!!

  77. 1411: 

    Usain Bolt is in the house. The fastest man on earth is the coolest man on Philippe Chatrier, certainly in the stands anyway, as he watches the two finalists knock up. The London 2012 champion will be handing over the trophy at the end of the match. Meanwhile he is sat next to French tennis federation president Jean Gachassin. Conversation does not look like it is flowing, Bolt tapping into his mobile phone in preference to small talk.

    usain bolt and Jean Gachassin
  78. 1407: 

    The players are out on court with Rafael Nadal practically doing shuttle runs on the baseline as he retreats from the coin toss to start the knock-up. Rafa has plucked a white T-shirt with orange trim and orange shorts from the wardrobe this morning.

    David Ferrer is all ready for any Parisian fog that could threaten to interrupt play with a luminous green outfit. It is the tennis equivalent of football's orange ball.


    Andrew Priestley: If Ferrer somehow manages to beat Rafa Nadal to win the French Open today, it will rank as the biggest upset in tennis history.


    It will be another 50 weeks until you can weigh in with your opinions on the French Open on the BBC Sport website, so if you have anything left to say, speak now or forever hold your peace.

    #bbctennis is the Twitter handle to use while 81111 is the text number from mobiles.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Three-time French Open winner Mats Wilander: "I think the match against Novak Djokovic was the best I've seen Nadal play in a very long time, and I wonder if he's ever played better than that."

    Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

  82. 1401: 

    There is a little devil in the detail of the two players' progress through the draw in this year's tournament. While Ferrer has been on court for 10 hours 52 minutes, Rafael Nadal has been out there on the red clay for 16 hours and 58 minutes - more than six hours longer.

    And four hours 37 minutes of that were being stretched every which way in his marathon win over Novak Djokovic on Friday.

    With his opponent in his first Grand Slam since eight months out with serious injury, could the match turn into the Battle of Wounded Knee if Ferrer takes it to five?

    There was little sign of Nadal's sore patella causing him any bother in the semi-final.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "The key thing is that David Ferrer looks in the mirror and reminds himself that in sport anything can happen.

    "I'm expecting three tight sets here, but it's hard to see Ferrer winning one, let alone three."

  84. 1400: 

    Ferrer has won a set in each of his last two defeats to Nadal - in Rome and Madrid this season.

    The world number five's comments on that defeat in Rome were rather telling however.

    "I played very aggressive all the match, and finally I lost because he was better," said Ferrer. "It's difficult to beat Rafael not because he's Spanish - it's because he's a very good player."

  85. 1359: 

    A look over his and Rafael Nadal's more recent and personal history will not have made pleasant bedtime reading for David Ferrer last night.

    Nadal has won 19 of their 23 meetings including 15 of their last 16. One of those was at the semi-final stage of last year's French Open where Nadal pummelled Ferrer 6-2 6-2 6-1.

    Difficult to sleep well while the subconscious is chowing down on those sort of statistics.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Spain's David Cup captain Alex Corretja: "It's a very special day for Spanish sport and especially for our tennis to see two of our guys in the French Open final."

  87. 1357: 

    Time for a quick spin though what juicy bits of history are up for grabs for Rafael Nadal today.

    The 27-year-old can become the first player of the Open era to win the same Grand Slam title eight times if he lifts La Coupe des Mousquetaires this afternoon.

    His record at the French Open since first turning up in Paris as an 18-year-old in 2005 stands at 58 wins and just one defeat.

    Victory today would mean he has won more French Open matches than any other player in history - one more than Roger Federer and Guillermo Villas.

    Heady days.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Rain has been the talk of Roland Garros after a wet start to the day but it looks like we're going to make it through to the start of play, at least. The good news is that Usain Bolt has arrived and is taking no chances, sporting shades despite the unremitting grey skies above. Bolt will be handing the trophy to the winner, and you will do well to find anyone who seriously thinks that will be David Ferrer. Conditions will be heavy though, and that should at least take the edge off Nadal's forehand. Beyond that, I'm struggling."

  89. 1356: 

    The Parisian weather has been a bit of a diva this fortnight and come the final morning it threatened to throw another strop and refuse to play nice.

    Thankfully after morning drizzle, the rain has held up and we are on target to get under way at 1400 BST.

  90. 1353: 

    Welcome, welcome and indeed bienvenida to today's all-Spanish men's French Open final.

    Representing the coastal city of Valencia, in his very first Grand Slam final, it is the man with more scuttle and dash than a Costa del Sol cockroach, David Ferrer.

    In the opposite corner, hailing from the island of Majorca, is the reigning King of Clay who presides over Roland Garros with a forehand like a Muhammad Ali roundhouse, Rafael Nadal.

    To continue this fistic introduction, it would be a shock on a par with Buster Douglas flooring Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990 if Ferrer were to win today.

    But you never know do you? And that is why we are here.

    Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer
  91. 1350: 

    "Ferrer's only real chance is if Nadal is not on his game physically. Ferrer does not have the game to beat Nadal, he must hope that he's still on the court when Nadal loses."

    And welcome to your first Grand Slam final David.

    When an analysis of today's French Open final on the normally quite neutral ATP site comes down so decisively in favour of your opponent, you know you are in trouble.

    Mind you, when your opponent is seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, you'd probably have an inkling without it.

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