Nadal leads French Open final by 2 sets

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. They let out a burst of claps and roars in the second set on one particularly exquisite display: Wawrinka smacked a cross-court backhand to a corner, and Nadal sprinted to his left to get to the ball, wide of the doubles alley, and whip a forehand that curved around the net post and landed near a line for a victor.

In 2005, the Spaniard defeated the unheralded Mariano Puerta in the final to begin a winning monopoly at Roland Garros.

"For sure this score wasn't good, the match wasn't good, but at the end of the day there's a lot of positives to take from the last few weeks", Wawrinka said.

"To come through here and win his 10th - barely losing games - there's been unbelievable play and whether it's in other people's minds that Rafa's back and it's pointless, I don't know".

- Nadal dropped just 35 games in his seven matches at this year's French Open. The adrenaline and the emotions I feel here are different to anywhere else.

Nadal's collection of Slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury.

Given Nadal's play in the tournament, his rise to this 10th title seemed nearly expected.

"This is the most important event in my career". It will always be in my heart.

The Spaniard wrapped up the set with his second break of the match when Wawrinka sent a forehand long. "I am very emotional".

Wawrinka almost scored an early break on Nadal's second service game.

Playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final, Nadal triumphed in Paris without dropping a set for a third time.

Wawrinka was denied his second French Open title after winning the tournament in 2015.

Nadal was at his most masterful on the stage he has made his own and needed just two hours and five minutes to beat Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1.

- Nine-times victor Nadal saves a break point to lead 2-1 against Wawrinka in the French Open final on Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was Nadal's fifteenth major Grand Slam crown.

"Roger and Rafa, they are very good", said Wawrinka. He is now 3-1 in Grand Slam finals. "To play against you is an honour".

Sunday was also the first time since 1969 that the Roland Garros final had featured two men over 30.

A glorious year ended with a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics after beating Fernando Gonzalez in three sets.

Wawrinka had to come through five sets against world number one Andy Murray in the semi-finals and his body language quickly displayed his frustration as Nadal masterfully whipped balls into hard areas with punishing pace and accuracy - a spinning cross-court forehand putting him 3-0 up in the second set.

Nadal immediately put Wawrinka in the same position on the next game.

  • Julie Sanders