Rafael Nadal has won a record tenth French Open title with a straight-sets win over Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. The Spaniard had been stuck on nine Paris wins since 2014 but completed "La Decima" at Roland Garros without dropping a single set throughout the whole tournament.
For Wawrinka, it was his first defeat in four grand slam finals but, despite a promising start, he was never able to match Nadal after the Majorcan stepped up a gear.
Nadal turns up the heat
With temperatures topping 30 degrees centigrade on Philippe Chatrier court, there was nothing to choose between the two players in the opening four games - although Wawrinka was forced to survive four break points in the fourth game.
But the warning signs were there and the Spaniard broke in the Swiss' next service game to take control of the first set at 4-2. Nadal had clearly stepped up a gear and saw out the first set 6-2 with another break.
Nadal started the second set as he had ended the first, sending Wawrinka running all over the base line with a series of ferocious forehands and breaking early to establish a 3-0 lead. Finally, his opponent reacted, varying his game slightly with a clever net volley and some accurate backhands.
But with only 48% of points won on his first serve, Wawrinka's consistency was lacking and his frustration was growing. "Ca sert à rien!" he cried at his box - "Nothing's working!" - smashing his racquet as the Nadal serve proved unbreakable, the Spanish clay master taking a two-set lead, and dropping only five games in the process.
Nadal was delivering a masterclass with 24 winners and only eight errors (and they all came in the more even stages of the first set) but the Parisian crowd were getting behind the French speaking Wawrinka. And he responded, waving his arms to encourage their support and continuing to fight, despite Nadal breaking in the opening game of the third set.
After a hard-fought fifth game, he broke again to lead 4-1, by which point the outcome of this final was never in doubt. "It's very emotional for me to win La Decima here," Nadal told the crowd, apologizing needlessly for his French which he has nevertheless worked hard on. "It's my favourite tournament. The adrenaline and the emotions I feel here are different to anywhere else. Thank you for your support."
(This article was first published on DW. You can read the original article here.)