Nadal wins his 10th French Open title

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka reacts as he plays Spain's Rafael Nadal during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Paris.

"You were too good", Wawrinka told Nadal during the prize presentation after losing in a Grand Slam final for the first time in four appearances.

Nadal was given a time violation warning at the start of the second, but Wawrinka could not halt his charge as the Spaniard bounded into a 3-0 lead in the second having won seven games in a row.

The most number of games dropped by the Spaniard en route to lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires was 96 in 2011, while the most games Nadal has ever dropped on the way to winning any Grand Slam was 100 when he won his second Wimbledon title in 2010.

Nadal is also only the third male player after Sampras and Rosewall to win a Grand Slam title in his teens, 20s and 30s. The Swiss great stands at 18 after defeating Nadal in a five-set classic at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Everyone expected a Nadal clinch the French Open title, considering how he dominated the clay court season this year.

Cradling the trophy like one would a new-born, Nadal graciously accepted the thunderous applause Philippe Chatrier afforded him, clearly struggling with the emotions that were understandably running through head.

But the barrel-chested "Stanimal" was powerless as Nadal turned the final into an exhibition of his claycourt supremacy - taking his French Open record to an eye-watering 79-2. "The nerves and adrenaline I feel on this court is impossible to compare". "It's the most important event in my career".

His play at the French Open hasn't been, that's for sure.

"This final to win La Decima for me is very, very special".

In 2003, at the age of 16, Nadal became the youngest man to reach the third round of Wimbledon since Boris Becker in 1984.

The victory capped what can be rightly seen as Nadal's most dominant performance at Roland Garros. The Swiss Wawrinka won the Australian Open in 2014 against Nadal himself, and followed up in 2015 with a French Open win against Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.

Reflecting on his accomplishments at the French Open after a montage showed his converted match points in each of his French Open successes, Nadal added that he never thought he'd be playing the game for so long.

“Without my uncle I would not have won 10 trophies, ” said Nadal who will rise to two in the world rankings on Monday.

That September, he was crowned US Open champion for the second time in his career following a four-set win over Djokovic.

Murray will have to defend 2,500 points and with Nadal having skipped the grass a year ago, Rafa is in prime position to take the lead.

"Rafa, I have nothing to say about today". Thank you to the organisers, the other players, to all the people that make this tournament possible.

  • Julie Sanders