Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in four sets to win a record seventh French Open title.
Nadal's 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 victory saw him eclipse Bjorn Borg's six titles at Roland Garros and prevented Djokovic becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand Slam titles at the same time.
A double fault from the Serb was an awful way for a classic encounter to be settled, but Nadal had been the better man since the players returned to the court on Monday following the previous day's rain delay.
Upon clinching victory, Nadal climbed into the stands to embrace his support team before taking his customary bite of the Coupe des Mousquetaires.
Speaking about overtaking the great Swede, the 26-year-old told the crowd: "It's an honour but the most important thing is this tournament. It's unforgettable, one of the most special moments in my career.
"For me, this tournament is the most special tournament in the world."
Djokovic had launched an impressive fightback on Sunday to keep his 'Djoker Slam' hopes alive.
Nadal had led by two sets and a break but by the time rain stopped play, Djokovic had claimed the third set and was a break up in the fourth with Nadal unable to put as much spin on the wet, heavy balls.
Clouds were still very much around when the players resumed at 1300 local time on Monday and Nadal immediately recovered the service break to level the fourth set at 2-2.
The brutal long rallies which had been so in evidence on Sunday continued as the set progressed to 5-4.
With Djokovic about to serve to stay in the tournament, further rain caused a brief delay.
To his credit the world number one duly held but he was not to stop Nadal.
After holding for 6-5, the Spaniard struck in game 12, forcing match point with a thunderous forehand and then seeing his opponent send two serves long.
Nadal's seventh title in Paris is his 11th at Grand Slam level and sees him draw level with Laver and Borg in the all-time list. Only Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Roy Emerson are now above him.
Djokovic had no complaints with the result.
He said: "I feel really privileged to be in this position, being in the final at Roland Garros for the first time. I enjoyed the match, Rafa was the better player. I hope to come back next year and play even better.''
Rafael Nadal factfile:
1986: Born June 3, Mallorca, Spain.
2001: Turns professional.
2002: Wins first match on the ATP circuit in Mallorca, becoming the ninth player in the Open era to win an ATP match before his 16th birthday.
2004: Wins first ATP title, in Sopot, Poland.
December - Beats Andy Roddick in four sets to help Spain beat the United States in Davis Cup final.
2005: June - Becomes first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open title on debut with a four-set win over Argentinian Mariano Puerta.
2006: March - Beats world number one Roger Federer to win the ATP event in Dubai, ending Federer's run of 56 consecutive hardcourt wins.
June - Beats Swede Robin Soderling in first round at French Open for his 54th consecutive clay-court win, setting a professional era record in the men's game. Defends title and 59-game unbeaten streak against Federer.
2006: July - Loses Wimbledon final in four sets to Federer.
2007: May 7 - Wins 76th straight match on clay to set a new record for consecutive victories on any single surface.
May 20 - Winning streak on clay ends at 81 matches with defeat in the final of the Hamburg Masters to Federer.
June 10 - Wins third straight French Open, beating Federer in the final for the second successive year.
July 8 - Loses Wimbledon final to Federer after five-set epic.
2008: January 24 - Reaches Australian Open semi-finals for first time but is beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
June 8 - Thrashes Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0 to win his fourth successive French Open title, equalling the feat of Bjorn Borg. Becomes only the fifth player to win a grand slam without dropping a set.
July 6 - Claims his first Wimbledon title with a 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (8/10) 9-7 victory over top seed Federer, becoming the first man since Borg in 1980 to hold the Wimbledon and French Open titles simultaneously.
August 17 - Wins Olympic gold in Beijing with straight-sets defeat of Fernando Gonzalez.
September 9 - Loses in the semi-finals of the US Open to Andy Murray.
2009: February 1 - Wins Australian Open title after epic five-set victory over Federer in Melbourne.
April - Begins clay-court season by winning fifth straight Monte Carlo Masters title and then achieves the same feat in the ATP 500 event in Barcelona.
May 31 - Loses his first match at the French Open, beaten by Soderling in the fourth round.
September 13 - Thrashed 6-2 6-2 6-2 by Juan Martin del Potro in US Open semi-final.
December 4-6 - Helps Spain win Davis Cup, beating Czech Republic 5-0.
2010: June 6 - After winning titles on clay in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid, wins French Open again, beating Soderling 6-4 6-2 6-4 in the final.
July 4 - Follows up a semi-final win over Murray by beating Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.
September 14 - Becomes only the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
2011: June 5 - Successfully defends his French Open title, beating Federer 7-5 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 6-1 to equal the six Roland Garros trophies won by Borg.
July 3 - Loses his Wimbledon title 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 to Novak Djokovic, who also takes the number one ranking.
September 12 - The same story for Nadal as Djokovic wins 6-2 6-4 6-7 6-1 in the final of the US Open.
December 4 - Beats Argentina's Juan Monaco and Juan Martin Del Potro to help Spain win their third Davis Cup crown in four years.
2012: January 29 - Djokovic wins a third straight grand slam final against Nadal, beating him 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5 in five hours and 53 minutes at the Australian Open, the longest grand slam final in history.
April 22 - Nadal ends a seven-match losing streak against Djokovic in Monte Carlo, in turn winning his eighth consecutive title in the Principality.
June 11 - Nadal becomes the first man to win seven French Open titles beating Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 in a rain-delayed final.