In the end Roger Federer, like the incredulous crowd at Roland Garros, had no choice but to salute Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal once again proved himself the "King of Clay," making Swiss cheese out of Roger Federer Sunday beating him 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
Nadal protected his aura of invincibility in devastating style to take his place alongside Bjorn Borg as the only men to have won four successive French Open titles since the tournament went international in 1925.
After the one hour 48-minute destruction, even Nadal was embarrassed to celebrate his triumph and told Federer during the presentation ceremony: "I'm sorry for that final but you played well. I want to thank (you) for (your) attitude on the court."
For 26-year-old Federer it was another dark day in the City of Light.
He came into Paris looking to join the history-makers as just the sixth man to have won all four Grand Slam titles. He leaves with the sorry record of being the only player in Grand Slam history to lose to the same player in three consecutive finals.
A dejected Federer added: "I would have hoped to do better than four games but Rafael is very, very strong. He dominated this tournament like maybe no one before except Borg, so congratulations Rafa."
"But I'll be back to try again next year and I am looking forward to the rest of this year."
Nadal's 6-0 final set win was the first time that Federer had lost a set to love since the first round of the Queen's Club tournament in London in 1999, against Zimbabwean Byron Black.
It was Federer's worst loss in his 173 Grand Slam matches, and the shortest Roland Garros men's final in terms of games since 1977.
Nadal will now head to Wimbledon optimistic that he can go one step further than in the last two years, when he has lost to Federer in the final.
"I improved a little bit since last year. I have more control of the points, I am more aggressive than usual."
"But I am still the number two and closer to the number three than the number one."
I don't know about you, but I don't agree with this statemnet, I think after improving his score against Roger and after beating him and Djokovic at this tournament and after what he showed in last two weeks, he really deserves to be next No. 1!
(source Reuters, photo/AP Photo/Michel Spingler via Yahoo Sports)