The Spaniard dominated the clay court winning the final 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. In just three sets, Nadal played his way into history, becoming the only person to win 10 titles at the same venue in the Open era. His Grand Slam title count now sits at 15, just three shy of current record holder Roger Federer.
🇪🇸Rafael Nadal Slams, a timeline🇪🇸— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 11, 2017
The impressive stats for Nadal don't stop there. Of the 81 matches he has played at the French Open, he has won 79, proving he really is the king of the clay.
Never before had Nadal faced a player who had won the French Open before. 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. He also managed a 2016 U.S Open title, so the expectation of a highly competitive final was not naive. The results of the two-hour-long match was disappointingly one-sided.
With three major titles under his belt, Wawrinka is known for his aggressive backhand shots and has a perfect 3-0 record in Grand Slam finals. The Swiss national was lauded as a formidable opponent to Nadal.
Instead of his usual style, Wawrinka's unforced error count climbed into the double figures by the fourth game, where Nadal's stood at just 12 for the entire match. Regardless of an epic four-and-a-half hour long semi-final against Andy Murray on Friday, Wawrinka played down the physical effects of such a long match. In a post-match conference, he also admitted to an exhausting three weeks, during which he won a title in Geneva.
"I didn't play my best tennis," said Wawrinka at the conference. "I think I was a little bit hesitating with my selection of shots. He puts this doubt in your head when you play against him. For sure he's playing the best he's ever played, playing more aggressive, staying close to the [base]line."
For Nadal, this was a goal he had always worked towards. After the match, he explained just how important this win was to him.
"You need the right circumstances, the right ingredients to win 10 French Open titles. I don't know if I will ever get to meet the player who will do better than I did. It has been very special to me, and it's true that it is unprecedented. Trust me, I'm very happy that I'm the one who did it," Nadal said.
Nadal wasn't the only one who was thrilled with his new record. Many tennis greats expressed their congratulations on Twitter, amazed at his incredible tennis achievements.
10 ...... 10 ....... 10 ..... you can say it as much as you want. It's so not normal. Huge respect for @RafaelNadal .. pleasure to watch— andyroddick (@andyroddick) June 11, 2017
I don't think many can put it into words and I don't think many understand this accomplishment, truly incredibly.Congrats, Champ10n— Tommy Haas (@TommyHaas13) June 11, 2017
Can someone describe with words what @RafaelNadal archived today? 🔟🏆🎾— Fernando Verdasco (@FerVerdasco) June 11, 2017
So, we'll see him next year for the 11th?
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