La Decima - The Story: Rafael Nadal reflects on first-round win
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 9:39
Wawrinka came into this match, played on a sultry afternoon, bolstered by two pieces of knowledge: that he had won all three of his previous Grand Slam finals, and that Nadal had not been properly tested.
"I am very sorry to say that I am not going to be able play Queen's next week", Nadal wrote on social media. "It's very emotional for me". The feeling I have is impossible to describe.
Once Hollywood A-lister Nicole Kidman had helped unbox the Coupe des Mousquetaires to a crowd already wilting in 30-degree heat, the final was underway.
Stanislas Wawrinka in action. He also reached the final there three other times.
The 31-year-old insists he won't be setting himself any targets going forward, instead looking to take each event as it comes while he still enjoys the sport.
From there, it was all downhill.
He had his one break point in the third game, and that was as good as it got.
No matter as he broke through for 4-2 and then went to set point in the eighth game after a relentless forehand barrage sapped the will out of Wawrinka. Afterwards he reportedly told his rival that he, Nadal, would "destroy" the clay court season, and Rafa delivered, piling up a 24-1 record and four titles, including the big one.
A brief lull as the court staff watered down the red dust failed to extinguish Nadal's fire and, despite Wawrinka's best efforts to extend the contest, the final set was little more than a coronation for Paris's favourite Spaniard.
Leave it to others to decide whether Rafael Nadal is playing the best tennis of his career as he comes off a 10th French Open championship, his 15th Grand Slam title in all, and now turns his attention to Wimbledon.