Historic tenth title for Nadal in Paris
An emotional Rafael Nadal described his 10th French Open title as the perfect end to a perfect fortnight after he made history at Roland Garros on Sunday. The 31‑year‑old Spaniard’s 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory against Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland made him the first man to win any of the grand slam events 10 times, a feat he achieved without dropping a single set.
Rafael Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to win French Open
“This has been, I think, a perfect Roland Garros for me,” said Nadal, who dropped just 35 games in total on his way to a 15th grand slam title but his first for three years.
Nadal was shown a montage of his 10 victories before the trophy presentation and said the historic nature of the triumph added to his satisfaction. “It is true that this one is going to be one of the more special for the number, for what happened on the ceremony after the final, for so many things,” he said. “And because I am 31 already and not a kid any more. Today was a very important day for me. [There] have been some tough moments last times, injuries, so it’s great to have big success like this again.” Nadal said when he first won the title in 2005 he would not have imagined he would still be playing in 2017, let alone winning, and said 10 titles had a special ring to it. “As I like to say, if I can do it, someone else can do it,” he said. “But 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. I’m very happy.”
Wawrinka, who lost a grand slam final for the first time, said he had been beaten by a man at the peak of his game. “For sure he’s playing the best he’s ever played,” Wawrinka said. “But not only here. I think since the beginning of the year, you can see he’s playing more aggressive, staying more close [to] the line. But that’s clearly the best he has ever played. That’s why he’s winning so much again.”
The Swiss said he had recovered well physically from the effort of defeating Andy Murray in a semi-final which lasted more than four and a half hours, but that mentally the efforts of the past few weeks had caught up with him.
“From the beginning from my side, for sure, I didn’t play my best tennis,” he said. “I think I was a little bit hesitating with my selection of shots. I was always a little bit between [thoughts]. One, because I play against him and he puts this doubt in your head when you play against him because he’s playing so well. And second, all the effort I have been doing [in the] last few weeks to get to my best level again, to get some confidence again, and to win all those matches … some tough matches.”
Wawrinka said the positives of the fortnight outweighed the negatives of losing a grand slam final, having shrugged off a poor clay-court season to make the final for the second time in three years. Nadal’s 10th win, he said, was an incredible achievement. “It’s something tough to describe when you just say you won 10 French Opens,” he said. “It’s a grand slam, but it’s the same grand slam. That’s something so big for the sport. He’s the best-ever player on clay.”
Nadal said his chances at Wimbledon, where he has not won since 2010, depended on how his aching knees respond on the grass. “If I have pain in the knees, then I know from experience that it’s almost impossible,” he said. “Because I need to feel strong, low and powerful legs to play well in Wimbledon. If I don’t feel that, then probably my chances are not there, no? But if I am healthy and I am able to have the right preparation and feel healthy during Wimbledon, then I am probably going to have my chances to play well.”
To Rafael Nadal