Rafael Nadal of Spain (R) and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland posing with their trophies after their men’s singles final match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 11June 2017.
Rafael Nadal now trails only Roger Federer, who won Australian Open and opted out of the French Open, in Grand Slam title wins.
Wawrinka, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, hailed Nadal as an opponent and sportsman.
Everyone expected a Nadal clinch the French Open title, considering how he dominated the clay court season this year. It was his 18th crown. Nadal improved to 79-2 lifetime at Roland Garros and lifted the trophy for the first time since 2014 after disposing of Wawrinka in just two hours and five minutes.
Wawrinka was subdued as the marathon five-set duel with Andy Murray in the semi-finals appeared to carry over into Sunday, but even a vintage Swiss would have struggled to contain Nadal.
He’s already leading the Race To London, having won four events to date, and his form at the French Open suggests that Nadal is back to his very best. For me, the nerves, the adrenaline I feel when I play on this court is impossible to compare. “It’s the most important tournament in my career and to win again is something I can’t describe”. “If I have pain in the knees, then I know from experience that it’s nearly impossible”, he said.
Nadal lost just 35 games across the fortnight as he swept to the title in familiar style, and concede just one solitary break point to Wawrinka in the final, which he duly defended. One, because I play against him, and he puts this doubt in your head when you play against him because he’s playing so well.
Wawrinka, who spent almost five hours more on court than Nadal to reach the final, looked confused and heavy-legged although he did have a glimmer in the third game when Nadal, still settling down, saved a break point.
The Spaniard has now won a Grand Slam title without losing a single set for the third time, adding to his wins in Paris in 2008 and 2010 and equaling Bjorg’s record in the process.
Wawrinka tried to become the oldest French Open victor since Andres Gimeno in 1972.
The men’s final at the French Open is underway.
Nadal played his first match at the Roland Garros court back in 2005. This time, he was a little more composed. The Spaniard claimed his record 10th French Open title on Sunday.
Straw hats and fans were de rigueur for an expectant Court Philippe Chatrier as the final began with temperatures hovering around the 30 degrees Celcius mark – optimum conditions for Nadal’s monstrous topspin game.
Michael Venus became New Zealand’s first Grand Slam champion since 1974 on Saturday when he partnered American Ryan Harrison to the men’s doubles title.