Nadal dominates to win historic 10th French Open title

King of clay Rafael Nadal hammered Stan Wawrinka, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, to earn an unprecedented 10th title at the French Open on Sunday.

This title, an unprecedented 10th at a single grand slam in the professional era, was arguably the most impressive of his 15 though as it arrived three injury-plagued years after the last one, without dropping a set and conceding only 35 games in seven matches.

"It's true that 10 is a handsome number, but actually my favourite is nine", said Nadal, the nine-time champion at Roland Garros who faces 2015 victor Stan Wawrinka in the final. It was his 18th crown.

Spain's Rafael Nadal clenches his fist invictory after defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 9, 2017 in Paris.

Temperatures are set to rise above 30 degrees Celsius in Paris, which should make Nadal's devastating top spin even harder for Wawrinka to handle.

"I tried my best in all the events but the feelings I have here is impossible to describe and hard to compare to other places". For me the nerves, the adrenaline that I feel when I play in this court is impossible to compare to another feeling. "It's the most important event in my career without a doubt".

The 31-year-old Nadal was overwhelmingly good from start to finish against Wawrinka - and over the past two weeks en route to La Decima, Spanish for "10th".

"When you play against Rafa, if you hesitate, it's no good". The 35-year-old Swiss superstar made a decision to forego the 2017 French Open. While the Swiss was not guilty of tanking by any means, his frustration was evident by a racket-smashing episode as Nadal raced to a two-set lead.

Nadal, who fired 27 winners, won all 12 service games, saving the lone break point he faced and making just 12 unforced errors. Nadal's next best was 41 games dropped in winning Roland Garros in 2008. The victory Sunday puts him in elite company, as only Pete Sampras and Ken Rosewall have won Grand Slam titles in their teens, 20s and 30s. But then Nadal kept going.

Rafael Nadal with the win has moved to World No 2 in the rankings behind Andy Murray.

"It's always been an honor to play against you", Wawrinka told Nadal as he addressed the crowd.

The Spaniard then held to love and, having pushed hard for another break, served out the second set after winning a 13-shot rally and inviting another of couple of mistakes from a tired opponent who obliterated his racket in sheer frustration.

Nadal, whose career record at Roland Garros reads 79 wins and just two losses, was joined on the presentation by his uncle Toni, his coach since boyhood. With it went his resolve as Nadal quickly wrapped up the second set.

  • Julie Sanders