Claycourt colossus Rafael Nadal admits he was a nervous wreck before completing a drama-charged French Open final triumph over Novak Djokovic.
After a restless night's sleep, Nadal returned to Roland Garros on Monday to shatter Djokovic's grand slam dream with a stirring 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 victory over the world No.1.
The most-anticipated match of the year had been controversially suspended on Sunday night because of rain and Nadal said the delay was almost unbearable as he homed in on a record seventh title at his Paris fortress.
"Seriously, I was very nervous during all the night," he said.
"You know, I am playing this match since Friday afternoon, so is a long time preparing the match.
"Yesterday with all the stops and today I really felt tired and nervous before the match.
"My feeling was I wasn't ready for the match one hour, two hours ago, two hours before the match, and I only felt ready to go on court three minutes before.
"That's the first moment since we stopped the match yesterday."
Nadal said he ran out of late-night flicks to watch so instead sought relief in light reading before turning the lights out after midnight.
"I looked at chapters of Sengoku and that was it because I had no movies," he said.
"So I read a few chapters of my favourite comic book. I read those three times and I fell asleep."
Returning on Monday two sets to one up but a service break down at 1-2 in the fourth, Nadal only needed 49 minutes to turn the lights out on Djokovic.
In thwarting the Serb's quest to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four majors, Nadal etched his own name in the tennis history books by eclipsing Bjorn Borg's six Roland Garros crowns.
"It's a real honour," Nadal said.
"For me this is the most important tournament in the world.
"I'm really, really emotional and it's probably one of the more special moments of my career."
The 26-year-old also joined Borg and fellow legend Rod Laver in equal fourth place on the all-time grand slam leaderboard with 11 career majors.
Only Roger Federer (16), Pete Sampras (14) and Roy Emerson (12) have won more and now the chase to reel in Federer's record haul is suddenly back on after the Spaniard broke a painful run of three consecutive grand slam final losses to Djokovic.
The vanquished world No.1 graciously said he felt privileged enough to make his maiden final at Roland Garros.
"Rafa was the better player," Djokovic said.
"I hope to come back next year and play even better."
Djokovic had been striving to become the first man since Laver in 1969 to complete a grand slam sweep - and only third ever including Don Budge in 1938 - after claiming the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open trophies in six supreme months.
Instead the 25-year-old was consigned to the same sorry fate as Federer when the Swiss marvel succumbed to Nadal in back-to-back finals in 2006-07 while twice hoping to complete a fabled slam set at Roland Garros.
Conquering Nadal on red dirt has proven nigh impossible since he captured his maiden French Open on debut as an 18-year-old in 2005.
He's lost just once in 53 matches at his Paris fortress - to Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 when Nadal's knees failed him and forced him to abandon his subsequent Wimbledon title defence two weeks later.