Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Nadal reclaims throne with brutal defeat of Wawrinka

Nadal reclaims throne with brutal defeat of Wawrinka

Rafael Nadal claimed a historic 10th French Open title on Sunday, as he produced an nearly faultless display to down Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the Roland Garros men's final.

No other man or woman has won 10 championships at the same major in the Open era.

"This has been, I think, a ideal 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.

Rafael Nadal completed his own La Decima by crushing Stan Wawrinka to win an unprecedented 10th French Open title.

That series of success started in 2005 with a maiden French Open win and Nadal admitted he was surprised to still be playing.

First game of the third set and Nadal broke again as the man who stunned him in the 2014 Australian Open final suffered further damage.

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He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win. Disappointed with the coin not turning in his favour, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz said, "We wanted to bowl first".

For Stan Wawrinka, the effect of seeing Rafael Nadal across the other side of the net with that Roland Garros clay under his feet was overwhelming.

The Spaniard notched his memorable success on a second match point when three-time Grand Slam victor Wawrinka sent a backhand into the net.

"Wawrinka has only beaten Nadal once on clay in six meetings. It's the most important tournament in my career and to win again is something I can't describe".

I'm very happy with my team, with Magnus [Norman], with Pierre [Paganini], Yannick [Fattebert].

Third seed Wawrinka, having beaten world number one Andy Murray with a majestic display of firepower in a gruelling semi-final, arrived full of hope as, at 32, he tried to become the oldest French Open victor since Andres Gimeno in 1972.

Nadal's total Grand Slam title count now stands at 15, moving him past Pete Sampras into second on the Open Era men's leaderboard, behind Federer (18) and ahead of Djokovic and Australian legend Roy Emerson, both of whom have 12 majors to their names. "So that's the thing that I am more proud", said Nadal.

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Oscar's Shanghai team-mates tried to protect him as he lay on the ground while chaos ensued around the former Chelsea man. However, one player from either side was dismissed, with Guangzhou's Li Tixiang sent off along with Shanghai's Fu Huan.

The last grand slam clash between the pair came at Melbourne Park in 2014 when Wawrinka beat a hobbling Nadal to claim his first Grand Slam title.

The win in Melbourne was his first after 11 straight losses against Nadal. 'Well, for sure I was nervous this morning about the match, about the final, about playing against him. "He is a very good counter-attacker", Toni Nadal said.

Nothing could extinguish Nadal's fire though and he surged two breaks ahead in the third set despite the best efforts of Wawrinka to try and extend the contest.

Nadal immediately put Wawrinka in the same position on the next game.

Wawrinka held his first two service games but promptly ended the set on a four-game losing streak starting at 2-2.

"When you play against Rafa, if you hesitate, it's no good". They let out a burst of claps and roars in the second set on one particularly exquisite display: Wawrinka smacked a cross-court backhand to a corner, and Nadal sprinted to his left to get to the ball, wide of the doubles alley, and whip a forehand that curved around the net post and landed near a line for a victor.

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Harman, who had begun the day in a four-way tie for the lead, carded a five-under-par 67 which included six birdies and one bogey. Golf fans saw a potential new star emerge, but the tournament's finish was a far cry from what we saw at the Masters in April.

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