The King of Clay, after months of injuries and doubts over his career, returned to winning form today, on the Philippe Chatrier court. He showed total dominance over his higher seeded component, Stan Wawrinka, taking the title in straight sets. This record-breaking win means Nadal is the first man to win the same grand slam event 10 times.
Wawrinka, despite using his powerful forehand and backhand to see off the world number one, Andy Murray, in the semi finals, struggled to find this form for the final. He was left displaying a scrappy performance in which he made many errors and failed to win the only break point he created.
The match started in commanding style, with Nadal stopping his opponent from scoring a single point. This glittering pace from Nadal continued with a much expected break in service coming in only the sixth game (Nadal 4-2 Wawrinka* [* denotes the server]). Nadal then went on to win the following three games to take the set 6-2.
The second set began in much the same way that the first set ended, with Nadal winning another three consecutive games (Nadal* 3-0 Wawrinka). His commanding break of serve at the beginning of this set. Wawrinka was unable to reverse this, and the following games remained on serve, allowing Nadal to take the second set 6-3. Moments before loosing this set, Wawrinka’s frustrations boiled over as he smashed his racket against the french, clay court.
The first game of the third set saw another break of serve from Nadal which soon became a 2-0 lead. By the fifth game of this final set, Wawrinka took Nadal to deuce, but was broken for a second time in that set, allowing Nadal to serve for the championship.
After the match, Nadal told the media that winning his 10th French Open title had left him “really emotional’, stating that the win was “very special”. He told the French crowds that “I try my best in all the events, but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe”.
Before leaving the court, the defeated Swiss, Wawrinka commented that his opponent was “too good” and expressed how “It’s always been an honour to play against you.
This win leaves Nadal 2nd in the list of all-time grand slam winners, ahead of Pete Sampras but behind Rodger Federer. During his pursuit for this title, Nadal lost only 35 games in 7 matches, a feat which has only been beaten by Bjorn Borg during the 1978 French Open.
Former Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash, commented that he doesn’t “like to use the term ‘greatest of all’ but it’s hard not to with this guy” before stating that he is “just absolutely phenomenal.”
Nadal and Wawrinka will next be seen on court at Wimbledon, which begins on Monday 3rd of July.
—Charlotte Andrews, Correspondent (Sports)