November 19 2017


November 19 2017, 12:58 | Sammy Rose


Tenth the best – Nadal completes Roland Garros demolition

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.

Nadal also became the first player in history to win ten titles of one Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal was forced to pull out of last year's French Open - the tournament he cherishes most - after potential career-threatening damage to his left wrist tendons. I'm very emotional - and in this moment it's even worse.

"I missed playing Wimbledon again [last year], so I hope that my knees will hold up well and that I can have the preparation that I really need and want", he said.

"Wawrinka is a very risky opponent, so my mentality was that I can not give him the chance to be back on the match", he added.

The top-ranked Murray has improved over the past two weeks, shaking off a cold to reach the semifinals, where he lost 6-7 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-1 to third-seeded Stan Wawrinka on Friday.

Nadal finished with 27 winners to just 12 unforced errors.

In the lead up to the French Open, Nadal had a record of 24-1, losing to only Dominic Thiem whom he beat in the semi-finals in French Open. When fully fit, Nadal is a tuned-to-the-minute athlete with Job's patience in putting himself on the baseline and slugging it out, point by excruciating point. Nadal plays this way because he's at his best when he's flinging his racket all over the court, swatting back unbelievable shots that only a few other players in the world can make. Wawrinka only could win 52% of his first serves, 44% of second. The Latvian, who turned 20 during the tournament, lost in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros.

This season, Nadal has compiled an ATP-best 43-6 match record with four titles. After Nadal's victory, they unfurled a No. 10 banner in the stands high above Court Philippe Chatrier and had a No. 10 painted on the podium.

"But there is not much to talk about the match". It's a tough match, and a tough loss.

While hosting Eurosport's flagship "Game Set and Mats" programme, he said: "I'm not that interested in the numbers".

"I've always felt a little bit like it was my home. So many reasons made that score today, but mainly because he was playing better", he added.

Nadal, who has now closed back to within three of Federer's all-time record with a 15th slam title, said in halting French: "It's truly incredible". "Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any number (in) the ranking". I like playing on grass. And yes, she was trying to become the first woman in almost four decades to make a Grand Slam title the first tour-level triumph of her career.

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