Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka - player profiles
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 19:32
Having won 72 of his 74 games at the French Open and yet to lose a French Open final, Nadal is a hot favourite on the clay surface with Wawrinka under no illusions as to just how good his opponent is.
Wawrinka was at his belligerent best against world No. 1 Andy Murray in a semi-final classic, striking 87 winners in a five-set duel on Friday that would have graced any final.
There have been minor rumblings that the red dirt of Europe might one day be swamped by low maintenance hard courts - just as the treasured grass of Wimbledon was meant to be under pressure, which has forced a longer lead time on the preparatory tournaments to sustain the interest of the top players - as if millions of whatever currency were not enough. He is the oldest man in a French Open title match since Niki Pilic was 33 when he was the runner-up to Ilie Nastase in 1973. In the Open era the only men who have conceded fewer games before a Grand Slam final are Guillermo Vilas, who dropped 26 in reaching the US Open final in 1977 (when matches were played over the best of three sets in the first four rounds), and Bjorn Borg, who lost 27 en route to the 1978 final here. He was again the champion, again unbeatable at the French Open. "I don't think it would be the right thing to do to see it as a revenge".
Described as "scary" by three-times former grand slam champion Mats Wilander, Wawrinka will not be taking a backwards step when play commences on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday when the temperatures are expected to soar into the 80s.
"He's for sure gonna be the favourite with what he's done in the past, but also this season already he's playing so well".
"But the thing that I am more proud of in my career probably is 2013". Neither of us will go on the court thinking there is no pressure. "I know he's unsafe when he plays aggressively, so I need to limit his possibilities". I will have to do everything I can to keep him from playing aggressively.
Nadal has given one impeccable performance after the other throughout the fortnight in Paris, dropping just 29 games over six matches.
"It gives me the confidence I need", said Wawrinka.
Nadal said: "I don't care about the games I lost or not, or sets or these kind of things".
"I know he's risky when he plays aggressively, so I need to limit his possibilities".
The injury concerns that had waylaid Nadal in recent years appear to be gone, and he is able to attack from the back of the court with the power in his strokes again.
Stan Wawrinka hammered 28th seed Italian Fabio Fognini in the third round of the French Open 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 in straight sets. "I started a bit more nervous, but then I played well".
When is the French Open 2017 men's singles final between Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka?