Wawrinka, Nadal to meet for title at Roland Garros

Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA, left, and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic celebrate winning women's doubles final match against Australia's Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in two sets 6-2, 6-1, at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 11, 2017.

In the other seminfinal, Rafael Nadal cruised past Dominic Thiem in straight sets.Friday's French Open semifinals produced two matches of the highest quality to set up a mouthwatering final between Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal.

The 31-year-old has lost just 29 games in six matches, one fewer than the Open era record held by Bjorn Borg in 1978.

The Spaniard becomes the first man to reach double figures at a single slam and, if he continues to play like this, then Margaret Court's all-time record of 11 Australian Open titles looks certain to fall.

Where will the French Open 2017 men's singles final between Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka be played?Nadal and Stan Wawrinka be played?

"Nine actually is my favorite number", Nadal said afterward. "I started a little bit more nervous today, it was normal, but then I played well", said Nadal. Nine or 10, it s only 10 percent more.

"Rafa, I have nothing to say about today - you were too good", Wawrinka said during their trophy presentation. "He played a very tough match this afternoon, so he will be full of confidence for Sunday", Nadal told reporters referring to Wawrinka's five-set victory over top seed Andy Murray. In general, to be in the final again here of probably the most important event in my career, it means a lot to me. "When I watch him on TV I will be just as happy".

At 32, Wawrinka is the oldest men's finalist in Paris since 1973. However he shall have to play to his maximum potential to beat Wawrinka, who is known to topple the big guns at Grand Slam finals. Wawrinka had won his three previous Grand Slam finals but stood no chance on Sunday as Nadal created history with the win.

This time, Wawrinka managed to wear down the 30-year-old Scot, also a three-time Grand Slam champion. His last Grand Slam triumph had been in Paris, three years ago, and after losing out to Roger Federer in the 2017 Australian Open final, he was in no mood to let this one go. His 21-8 record, or 72% winning percentage in 2017 is not what we have come to expect of the Scot who had an outstanding 2016 season where he finished 78-9 with a winning percentage a tick under 90%. His attacking mentality has served him well in Paris so far―there's no reason to change strategies just because Nadal is up next. "I don't think it would be the right thing to do to see it as a revenge". Murray will still be No 1, Nadal and Wawrinka will rise to the No 2 or No 3 positions according to the result of the final, Novak Djokovic will drop to No 4 and Federer will be No 5. "Ca sert à rien!" he cried at his box - "Nothing's working!" - smashing his racquet as the Nadal serve proved unbreakable, the Spanish clay master taking a two-set lead, and dropping only five games in the process.

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  • Julie Sanders