Rafael Nadal on Sunday came out with a stunning display against Stan Wawrinka and defeated the Swiss in straight sets to won the Men’s Singles title for a magical 10th time, achieving “La Decima” and reaffirming his status as the greatest clay-courter of all time.
He is the only player in the open era to win a Grand Slam for 10 times. Predictably, the 31-year-old Spaniard shrugged, then joked: “Nine or 10 (it’s) only 10 percent more”.
Wawrinka won their previous grand slam final meeting at the 2014 Australian Open, but Nadal, after a three-year wait for his 10th taste of glory at Roland Garros, was not to be stopped this time. From the opening serve, the win was nearly never in doubt for the 31-year-old Spaniard, who now has a record 10 French Open victories to his name.
They also won the Australian Open in 2015 and this January, along with the U.S. Open last September.
As a tired Wawrinka sliced a volley into the net on match point Nadal collapsed on his back on the baseline.
Instead of his usual style, Wawrinka’s unforced error count climbed into the double figures by the fourth game, where Nadal’s stood at just 12 for the entire match.
Nadal was relentless though, pinning Wawrinka back behind the baseline. I’d like to thank all of you today. “Just for me, it’s the most important event in my career, without a doubt”.
Third seed Wawrinka, having beaten world number one Andy Murray with a majestic display of firepower in a gruelling semi-final, arrived full of hope as, at 32, he tried to become the oldest French Open victor since Andres Gimeno in 1972.
Sunday’s win is Nadal’s 15th career grand slam title to tie him with second-placed Pete Sampras on the all-time men’s tennis leader board.
Switching to English, Nadal continued: “The feeling I have here is impossible to describe”.
After Nadal sealed the second set both players left the court while court staff watered down the red dust.
Its hard to compare with other tournaments but the nerves and adrenaline I feel, its like no other place.. “Trust me, I’m very happy that I’m the one who did it”, Nadal said. For sure this score wasn’t good, the match wasn’t good, but at the end of the day there’s a lot of positives to take from the last few weeks.’ If you look at Roland Garros over the last two weeks, the tennis you have played, including beating the World’s No. Another hold and then another break gave Nadal the first set.
But Nadal said revenge for that defeat has never entered his thinking.
Nadal immediately put Wawrinka in the same position on the next game. He’s the best player on the circuit this year and has chances there. Despite having spent more than five hours on court getting to the final, Wawrinka had the first break point in the third game.