Brilliant Rafael Nadal wins French Open title

Rafael Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets Sunday in the final match of the tennis French Open, winning the grand slam for the 10th time in his career. Even at the Australian Open, if not for an inspired Roger Federer, the 31-year-old would be in the hunt for a calendar Grand Slam.

Rafael Nadal's French Open win on Sunday made the score 15-18 in his epic Grand Slam duel with Roger Federer.

As a tired Wawrinka sliced a volley into the net on match point Nadal collapsed on his back on the baseline.

"I don't know. I can not say (yes); I can not say not".

"This tournament is really special for me and I understand that my win here is unprecedented".

"Today was a very important day for me".

"I try my best in all events but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe", the champion said on Court Philippe Chatrier. And I finished the year being World No. 1, winning here (in Paris), winning the US Open. It is hard to compare this tournament to any other one.

It is a slight blow to the tournament but the field is led by world number one Andy Murray, who is the defending champion and has won Queen's on five occasions.

Nadal, the last Grand Slam victor in the French Open in 2014, had to fight with a number of injuries.

Since winning his maiden title on his debut in 2005, Nadal has only failed to take home the trophy on three occasions - in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling, in 2015 when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic and past year when he had to pull out because of a wrist injury. His fierce, heavy-hitting, and aggressive style of play wreaks havoc on his body, but it also makes Nadal the clay-court force that he is.

The Swiss had no doubt about Nadal's level, saying: "For sure he's playing the best he's ever played".

Over his career, Nadal has proven himself as one of the fittest-and strongest-tennis players on tour.

"If I win I have chances to become number one - if I play well, why not?"

Moya, a long-time mentor of Nadal, joined his coaching setup this season and will take over as head coach when long-time coach and uncle Toni Nadal retires at the end of this year.

In 2005, Nadal played his first clay court match at the French open against the German Lars Burgsmuller and won that match by 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

  • Julie Sanders