Rafael Nadal Makes History at the French Open
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 0:51
After falling at the final hurdle against Roger Federer at the Australian Open this year, the Spaniard returned to his throne with a 10th French Open title, making him the first player in the Open Era to win the same major on 10 separate occasions. The win also propelled him above Pete Sampras to second spot in the all-time Grand Slam titles list with 15, behind great rival Roger Federer, who has 18. Nadal also matched another marker set by Borg in 1980 by never losing more than four games in any set.
Wawrinka, the French Open champion in 2015 when Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, said the Spaniard had lived up to his expectations on Sunday. "The nerves, the adrenaline, I feel on the court are impossible to compare to another feeling".
"For me this event is the most important one of the year and I have more pressure on me, but it is not just about the four grand slams", he said.
Wawrinka insisted a five-set semifinal win Friday over No. 1-ranked Andy Murray did not take anything out of him physically. "Probably I was playing good, too", he joked.
Nadal was relentless though, pinning Wawrinka back behind the baseline.
The second game of the second set exemplified the sublime form Nadal was in.
79 - Nadal has now won all but two of the 81 matches he has played at Roland Garros in his career.
The only time Wawrinka matched Nadal's strokes was in the early part of the first set in when he held the first two service games and had a break point in the third game.
Wawrinka at least halted the run at seven games but there was no hint of the match turning at this point, as the women's final had on Saturday.
10 - The Spaniard's French Open haul puts him three clear of the competition's second most prolific victor - Borg won the Coupe des Mousqetaires six times between 1974 and 1981.
- Nine-times victor Nadal saves a break point to lead 2-1 against Wawrinka in the French Open final on Court Philippe Chatrier.
But he hasn't played in one since 2014, because he lost to Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals, then withdrew from the tournament before the third round a year ago due to an injured left wrist.
Toni Nadal is planning to step down as his nephew's head coach at the end of the season.
"From the beginning I didn't play my best tennis".
3 - Nadal is the third man to win a major singles title as a teenager, in his 20s and in his 30s. "So that's the thing that I am more proud", said Nadal.
"When you play against Rafa, if you hesitate, it's no good".
The second set was much more slanted toward Nadal from the onset.