Rafael Nadal raced to a record eighth French Open title Sunday with a straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-3 dismissal of fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in a final briefly interrupted by a protestor brandishing a lighted flare.
Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-1 when a shirtless man with a white mask ran onto the Philippe Chatrier Court and came to within a few meters of Nadal.
He was swiftly tackled by security staff -- Nadal shook the hand of one of them -- but when play continued red smoke was still billowing over the court.
Perhaps shaken, Nadal dropped his service but quickly regained his composure to close out the set in the next game.
Protestors aside, the weather looked looked the only other obstacle to another Nadal triumph at Roland Garros.
Persistent drizzle was in evidence throughout the match, but the heavier rain held off long enough for the reigning champion to wrap up victory in two hours 16 minutes
He also becomes the first man to win the same grand slam title eight times -- breaking out of a tie with Roger Federer and Pete Sampras -- who have seven wins apiece at Wimbledon.
Nadal's reputation as the "King of Clay" was further enhanced by his epic semifinal victory over No.1 Novak Djokovic, but his friend and long-time rival Ferrer was to prove stiff opposition despite the scoreline.