Flawless 10: Nadal routs Wawrinka for record 10th French Open

King of clay Rafael Nadal hailed his enduring love affair with the French Open after becoming the first player in the Open Era to win the same grand slam for a 10th time.

The Spaniard broke Wawrinka to make it 3-2 and then went on to win the next three games.

Nadal's total Grand Slam title count now stands at 15, moving him past Pete Sampras into second on the Open Era men's leaderboard, behind Federer (18) and ahead of Djokovic and Australian legend Roy Emerson, both of whom have 12 majors to their names.

Rafael Nadal celebrates a point against Stan Wawrinka during the final of the French Open.

Nadal proved that once again on Sunday as he swept aside Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

"I play my best at all events, but the feeling here is impossible to describe".

"It's hard to describe how I'm feeling; all I can say is "thank you". To win here again is something I can not describe", said Nadal.

Nothing could extinguish Nadal's fire though and he surged two breaks ahead in the third set despite the best efforts of Wawrinka to try and extend the contest. "So many reason made that score today, but mainly because he was playing better". They did let out a burst of claps and roars in the second set on one particularly exquisite display: Nadal sprinted to his left to chase Wawrinka's cross-court backhand wide of the doubles alley and whipped a forehand that curved around the net post and landed near a line for a victor.

Straw hats and fans were de rigueur for an expectant Court Philippe Chatrier as the final began with temperatures hovering around the 30 degrees Celcius mark - optimum conditions for Nadal's monstrous topspin game.

Should he continue to pile up victories at Roland Garros, it will indeed be without Uncle Toni.

A year ago in Paris, Nadal surprisingly withdrew before the third round because of a wrist injury, making the announcement at a news conference while wearing a blue brace on his left arm and a look of resignation of his face.

Nadal already had the record of having won the maximum number of titles in a particular Major.

"It's truly incredible", Nadal told the crowd.

Wawrinka, who spent almost five hours more on court than Nadal to reach the final, looked confused and heavy-legged although he did have a glimmer in the third game when Nadal, still settling down, saved a break point.

Nadal was shown a montage of his 10 victories before the trophy presentation and said the historic nature of the triumph added to his satisfaction. In the buildup, both men had talked about the need to be aggressive, but it was Nadal who pushed Wawrinka around and pushed him into going for too much.

- Nadal dropped just 35 games in his seven matches at this year's French Open. "To play against you is an honour".

But he dominated the clay court season this year with titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

  • Julie Sanders


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