Sport

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open…again

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open…again”

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka carries the racket he just broke as he plays Spain's Rafael Nadal during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Paris.

The San Antonio Spurs center is a good friend of Nadal's and has attended more than one of his finals in Paris including Sunday's three-set win over Stan Wawrinka that gave him a historic 10th French Open trophy.

Nadal got a time violation at the start of the second, but Wawrinka could not slow the Spaniard's charge as he bounded into a 3-0 lead in the second having won seven games in a row.

Nadal's 15th Grand Slam - his first since 2014 - pulls him clear of Pete Sampras into outright second on the all-time list, with Roger Federer leading the way with 18.

Nadal won his 15th grand slam, three away from the men's record held by Swiss Roger Federer.

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He claimed a second break moments later to take the first set, and there already seemed no way back for the Swiss, who was in search of a second French Open title and fourth Grand Slam.

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.

He fought all the way through the third set, picking up a double break when he didn't necessarily need to in what was ultimately the final game of the match - but it characterised what Nadal did - fought for every point, as he has done throughout his career and made Wawrinka work for everything. "The nerves, the adrenaline, I feel on the court are impossible to compare to another feeling. Roland Garros is the most important tournament for me". For me, it can't be compared to anything else. "But if I am healthy, probably I will have my chances to play well". Anytime Wawrinka seemed to get a little bit of momentum going, Nadal snuffed it out. "That's for sure. But not only here", said Wawrinka, who lost for the first time in four Grand Slam finals. Two weeks or three weeks ago I was really down, not winning matches in Masters 1000, not playing my best tennis, a lot in doubt in my game when I was playing. I think since the beginning of the year, you can see he's playing more aggressive, staying more close [to] the line.

The third set proved to be too easy for Nadal and it looked like Wawrinka had given up. "But I played against the biggest clay-court player ever". But when they stepped out on Court Philippe Chatrier on a blisteringly hot Sunday, Wawrinka could not find the clarity he needed. "I am in a good position".

"Guga" also won at Roland Garros in 2000 and 2001, was ranked No. 1, and retired in 2008 with 20 singles titles.



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