King Nadal reclaims his throne

The king of clay takes on one of the games most underrated players on Sunday, June 11th (09.00 AM ET.) Rafael Nadal bids for "La Decima" while Stan Wawrinka aims to make it four Major titles from four Major final appearances.

Wawrinka became the oldest finalist in Paris in 44 years with a thrilling 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 win over world number one Murray. "I know he's risky when he plays aggressively, so I need to limit his possibilities", added Nadal, who past 23-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem in his semi-final. Wawrinka will need to execute his game plan to perfection, and while this may seem a tall task he has a habit of playing his best tennis in major finals, 3 appearances & 3 titles, wins against Djokovic (x2) & Nadal. Facing Nadal has made many players want to go insane.

At the age of 19, he became the first teenager to win a major singles title since Pete Sampras at the US Open in 1990. If I can play long balls, if I can hit hard, if I can do that, I think I will be able to control him.

His play at the French Open hasn't been, that's for sure. Nadal also displayed a deft touch on the occasions when he approached the net.

It marked a stirring return to the top for Nadal in his favourite event and on his favorite surface: Over his career, he is now 79-2 at the French Open and 102-2 in all best-of-five-set matches on clay.

"I will have to do everything I can to keep him from playing aggressively".

Stan Wawrinka has beaten Rafael Nadal just three times in 18 meetings between the two.

But Wawrinka is in no doubt as to the nature of the obstacle that stands in his way of a second Roland Garros triumph.

Rafael Nadal has been given a replica of the French Open trophy to mark his 10 titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal was not giving Thiem the chance to show any of the kind of tennis that saw him storm to a straight-sets win over Djokovic in the last eight and a break in the opening game of the third came as another blow to the Austrian's fast-disappearing chances of a maiden grand slam final appearance. "But I played against the biggest clay-court player ever".

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Only twelve months ago a tearful Nadal bailed from his favorite tournament in Paris in the first week with a wrist injury, another in a seemingly endless list of ailments to derail the 31-year-old.

Nadal booked his place in the summit showdown after registering a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over sixth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria in the one-sided last-four clash.

"I started a bit more nervous, but then I played well".

It was a steamy day in Paris - temperatures hovered around 30 degrees Celsius - a boost to Nadal's heavily spun forehand that can trouble players with one-handed backhands.

  • Julie Sanders