Nadal's no good with numbers? He seeks No. 10 at French Open
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 19:18
By contrast, Wawrinka spent over four hours on court with Murray on Friday. Not bad for an old guy, huh?
"You expect him to hit a lot of balls, for sure".
Nadal said: "Nine or 10, it's only 10 per cent more".
"When you play a player like Murray, you know that you can dominate the games, but he's still going to be there", Wawrinka commented. "You need to, as I say, keep pushing yourself".
"To play Rafa on clay in (the) French Open in a final is probably the biggest challenge you can have in tennis".
He took a wildcard into Barcelona where his run to the semi-final was his best passage of play as he came to the French Open with no back to back wins in the double-header Masters tournaments in Madrid and Rome.
The Spaniard could make history by winning the showpiece at Roland Garros, as he would become the first player in the Open Era to win the same Grand Slam on 10 occasions.
Twelve months ago, Nadal withdrew from the French Open with a left wrist injury on the eve of the 3rd round.
"I don't care about the games I lost or not, or sets, or these kind of things", Nadal said.
"He's a unsafe player because he can hit the ball very hard. I'm just very, very happy for everything, and I'm going to try my best on Sunday".
The Swiss has won all 3 Grand Slam finals in which he has appeared, in 2014 he beat Nadal in Australia and then Novak Djokovic in the 2015 Paris final and again in last year's US Open finale.
"I'm extremely confident about what I do, about how I feel, about all the hard work I have accomplished over the past days, weeks, months, years", said Wawrinka, victor of a career-best 10 consecutive matches.
Wawrinka, who won in Paris in 2015, will be looking to win the fourth Grand Slam of his career.
Murray would lean, or even lunge, and somehow put his racket strings on seemingly unreachable shots.
Now only Stan Wawrinka remains between the 31-year-old and another record as the first man to reach double digits at a single slam.
By the anticlimactic close of what Murray termed "a very high-intensity match", he was complaining aloud about having "no legs".
It was Murray's longest match of the tournament, where he had been tested nearly all the way - taken to four sets in his first two matches before steadying the ship, until the quarter-final where Kei Nishikori took the early initiative, forcing Murray to get the job done once more in four sets.
Per the tournament's official website, Wawrinka hit 87 winners against Murray, though as a effect of his bold shots, he also made 77 unforced errors, which is something he can ill afford against the King of Clay.
The lack of match-wins and indeed match fitness for Murray started to tell - Wawrinka was energised with Murray beginning to look decidedly tired.
Third seed Wawrinka's epic battle against Murray had delayed Nadal's appearance until almost 6pm local time and there was a sense of "after the Lord Mayor's show" as the day's second semi-final began.
The pace set by breath-taking rallies and hard-hitting tactics saw Murray get the first chance for a lead, unconverted and Wawrinka always looked like he was knocking on the door.
Wawrinka had to work hard for the other final spot, edging out top seed Andy Murray in a five-set thriller. I lost a little bit of speed on my serve which wasn't allowing me to dictate many points on my own serve.
The Spaniard wrapped up the set with his second break of the match when Wawrinka sent a forehand long.
Wawrinka pointed to his right temple, as he often does to celebrate success on key points, and was on his way to the final.