Fourth-seeded Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal has defeated Mariano Puerta of Argentina to capture the French Open tennis tournament outside of Paris. It was the first Grand Slam title of his career.
After a surprise loss in the first set tiebreaker at Roland Garros Sunday, the 19-year-old Nadal battled back to beat unseeded Mariano Puerta of Argentina, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5 in a thrilling final. The hard-fought match lasted three hours and 24 minutes.
The 26-year-old Puerta, who missed last year's French Open serving a doping ban - nine-months after testing positive for clenbuterol - suffered a groin injury in the first set. But he had it bandaged and played through the discomfort before wasting three set points which would have forced a decisive fifth set.
With the victory, Nadal becomes the first player to win the men's title in his French Open debut since Sweden's Mats Wilander in 1982. It was the first Grand Slam final appearance for both players.
In the women's final Saturday, 10th-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium overpowered number-21 Frenchwoman Mary Pierce 6-1, 6-1 to claim the women's crown.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP..