Nadal sails to record 10th French Open win

Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action against France’s Benoir Paire.
Picture: Reuters

Rafael Nadal coasted to a record 10th French Open title yesterday, demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earned the Spaniard a 15th grand slam crown.

Nadal, 31, triumphed 6-2 6-3 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times.

His collection of slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury.

Playing in his 22nd grand slam final, Nadal triumphed in Paris without dropping a set for a third time.

He also lost just 35 games in total and only six in the final, his most comprehensive victory since allowing Roger Federer four games in the 2008 final.

“It’s really incredible. To win La Decima is very, very special,” Nadal said.

“I am very emotional. The feeling I have is impossible to describe.

“It’s difficult to compare with other tournaments but the nerves and adrenaline I feel, it’s like no other place.”

Nadal was joined at the presentation by his uncle, Toni, his coach since boyhood, who is stepping down at the end of the year.

“Without my uncle, I would not have won 10 trophies,” Nadal – who will rise to two in the world rankings today – said.

Wawrinka, bidding for a fourth grand slam title, hailed Nadal as an opponent and sportsman.

Once Hollywood A-lister Nicole Kidman had helped unbox the Coupe des Mousquetaires to a crowd wilting in 30°C heat, the final was under way.

It was the 22nd slam finale for Nadal – and just the fourth for Wawrinka, the oldest man in the championship match in 44 years.

Yesterday was also the first time since 1969 that the Roland Garros final had featured two men over 30.

Despite having spent more than five hours on court getting to the final, 2015 champion Wawrinka had the first break point in the third game.

The 32-year-old could not take it and it proved to be the only break point he earned all afternoon. From there, it was all downhill. Nadal was unable to convert four break points in the fourth game.

He broke through for 4-2 and then went to set-point in the eighth game after a relentless forehand barrage.

A backhand which sailed long gave Nadal the first set, with the Spaniard having crunched 10 winners to Wawrinka’s four while committing half the unforced errors.

Nadal forced Wawrinka into another forehand error to break for 2-0 in the second set, before the Swiss halted a run of seven games lost with a hold for 1-3. But the song remained the same, Nadal taking the set in the ninth game.

First game of the third set and Nadal broke again.

Nadal was soon a double break to the good for 4-1, held for 5-1 and then claimed a huge slice of history when Wawrinka limply dropped a backhand into the net.

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