Tennis
WATCH: Nadal sweeps aside Wawrinka for historic 10th French Open title
TENNIS

WATCH: Nadal sweeps aside Wawrinka for historic 10th French Open title

There was to be no denying Rafael Nadal a slice of tennis history on Sunday as he pummelled Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final.

Rafael Nadal made history by becoming the first player in the Open Era to win the same major 10 times with a thumping 6-2 6-3 6-1 victory over an outclassed Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final.

MORE:  Wawrinka's big praise for Nadal ahead of final

The "King of Clay" produced a magisterial display to sweep aside the challenge of Wawrinka in straight sets and further entrench his place in tennis royalty, completing "La Decima" by claiming the Coupe des Mousquetaires for the first time since 2014.


Nadal was in imperious form throughout the two weeks in Paris as he triumphed without dropping a set at Roland Garros for the third time, victory sending him up to second in the world rankings for the first time since October 2014, while the 35 games he dropped throughout the tournament is the second lowest in a slam in the Open Era.

His rise in the rankings has been underpinned by a phenomenal clay-court season in which he also took glory in Monte Carlo and Barcelona for the 10th time — no other man has won even one tournament on 10 separate occasions in the Open Era.

Wawrinka, the 2015 champion who had won each of his three previous grand slam final appearances, had no response for Nadal's wizardry from the baseline on Court Philippe Chatrier as he was forced to play in uncomfortable areas from where he could not apply any pressure.

The Spaniard, a losing finalist at the Australian Open, proved unplayable as he clinched a 15th major to move clear of Pete Sampras and just three back of Roger Federer's record haul of 18 — but at Roland Garros he is the undisputed king.

Nadal wasted no time in setting the tone with a hold to love. Wawrinka's powerful forehand pushed him around the court in his next service game, but the Swiss failed to convert a break point with a long return and that would prove his only opportunity to win a game against serve.

Wawrinka's desire to be aggressive saw him commit errors that put his second service game under intense pressure, though Nadal went long when trying to break at the fourth attempt in a lengthy game four.


The third seed was soon under pressure again and a backhand slice into the net gave Nadal a 4-2 lead that he consolidated by sending Wawrinka deep before rushing forwards for a sweet backhand volley.

Nadal was able to wrap it up without needing to serve again, the world number three firing long to concede an opening set in which he hit just four winners compared to 17 unforced errors.

Wawrinka had to come through five sets against world number one Andy Murray in the semi-finals and his body language quickly displayed his frustration as Nadal masterfully whipped balls into difficult areas with punishing pace and accuracy — a spinning cross-court forehand putting him 3-0 up in the second set.

The Swiss reduced the deficit by coming into the net to hold but Nadal had the crowd roaring when he scrambled across court and hit a sensational 99-miles-per-hour forehand from the wing that arrowed down the line and into the corner.

Wawrinka broke his racket after being bested in a mesmerising rally by the ferocious Nadal and his new equipment did not serve him any better as a wayward return gave away the second set.

The Spaniard gave his opponent no respite and the errors crept back in for Wawrinka, who was punished with a break in the opening game of the third.


Wawrinka did not crumble and geed up the crowd after a lovely cross-court slice at the net teed him up to hold in game five. However, he could not make the most of the momentum as a pair of mishits handed Nadal a two-break lead.

The result was already beyond doubt and Nadal claimed glory on his second championship point through an unforced error from his opponent, dropping to the floor after clinching his place in the record books.

Watch Nadal claim a record 10th French Open  in the video at the top of this page.

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