French Open final: Rafael Nadal becomes first man to win the same Grand Slam 10 times

Last Updated June 12 2017, 07:04Tennis
Rafael Nadal won the French Open
Rafael Nadal won the French Open

Rafael Nadal destroyed Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final to become the first man to win the same Grand Slam 10 times.

Click here for our French Open final blog recap
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Scroll down for a look at Rafael Nadal's career statistics and honours

The undisputed king of clay crushed his Swiss opponent 6-2 6-3 6-1 as he claimed the 15th Grand Slam title of his career to move above Pete Sampras into second on the all time list and he's now just three behind Roger Federer.

Nadal's demolition job in the final meant he went through the entire tournament without dropping a set for the third time in his career having done so in 2008 and 2010.

The Spaniard's La Decima at Roland Garros means he's just one behind Margaret Court's all-time record of 11 Australian Open titles and that is quite clearly in real danger.

The 31-year-old lost only 35 games in seven matches to further underline his status as the greatest clay court player in history.

He said: "It's truly amazing. This final to win La Decima for me is very, very special. It's very emotional for me. The feeling I have here is impossible to describe.

"The nerves, the adrenaline that I feel when I play in this court is impossible to compare. It's the most important tournament in my career and to win again is something I can't describe.

"This tournament I have been playing great during the whole event since the beginning. So it has been, I think, a perfect Roland Garros for me. I'm very happy for everything.

"Today was a very important day for me. There have been some tough moments the last times, injuries, so it's great to have big success like this again."

Since winning his maiden title on his debut in 2005, Nadal has only failed to take home the trophy on three occasions - in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling, in 2015 when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic and last year when he had to pull out because of a wrist injury.

The tournament honoured its greatest champion with a video montage showing highlights of all Nadal's 10 titles.

"In 2005, I thought in 2017 I'd be fishing on my boat in Majorca," he said. "I didn't really think I'd have such a long career and win so many tournaments.

"So this video was very special. It showed great moments of my career. And back then, of course, I couldn't even think for a second that this would ever happen to me."

Nadal is well out in front in the yearly standings and could take over Andy Murray's world number one ranking after Wimbledon, depending on results in SW19.

"I am playing well," Nadal said. "I am in a good position. I just won the most important event of the year for me.

"Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any number on the ranking. If I am able to keep playing well, why not?"

Wawrinka, who may have been feeling the effects of an epic semi-final against Andy Murray, started slowly and could not get into the match.

It is a first grand slam final defeat for the Swiss, who won the Australian Open in 2014, here two years ago and the US Open last summer.

Nadal has not had to wait as long as Real Madrid did for a 10th European title but, for a man who won nine titles in 10 years, two years without one was virtually an eternity.

After losing just his second match here against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals in 2015, Nadal was forced to pull out ahead of the third round last year with a left wrist injury.

Nadal's desolation then was in stark contrast to the joy he showed here at the moment of victory, lying flat on his back in customary fashion to celebrate a remarkable achievement.

Wawrinka had dominated the baseline against Murray and smacked 87 winners but here he was being pushed way back by Nadal's vicious spin.

The high forehand to a one-hander's backhand, the shot that has been Roger Federer's nemesis, was working just as well against his compatriot.

Wawrinka actually had the first break point in the third game in a scratchy start to the match but soon he was the one under pressure.

He fought off four break points in the next game but was broken two games later and the set soon followed.

Wawrinka had to be aggressive but he was making far too many unforced errors - 17 in the first set alone.

It threatened to get embarrassing for the Swiss when Nadal, his forehands now as venomous as a viper, raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Wawrinka at least halted the run at seven games but there was no hint of the match turning at this point, as the women's final had on Saturday.

Nadal hit surely the shot of the tournament in the sixth game, taking a fine Wawrinka backhand and lashing it down the line without even looking.

All the third seed could do was applaud.

Wawrinka at least forced Nadal to serve out the set but that proved to be no problem, with the Swiss destroying his racket when he missed a forehand.

Things did not improve as Nadal broke serve again in the opening game of the third set.

Everything Wawrinka tried was returned to him with interest, not that the 32-year-old ever stopped fighting.

He whipped the crowd up when he created a game point to hold for 2-3 only for Nadal to scramble a defensive lob just inside the baseline, with Wawrinka netted the smash.

He lost the next two points as well to give Nadal another break and the Spaniard raced across the finish line.

As well as the number, echoing the achievements of Nadal's football team Real Madrid in winning 10 Champions League titles, this one also has extra significance because it will be the last with Toni Nadal on the team.

Nadal's uncle taught him to play and has been by his side ever since but will step back at the end of the season to focus on the family's academy in Majorca.

Toni joined Nadal on stage during the presentation ceremony and gave him a replica of the Coupe des Mousquetaires to mark the occasion.

"Since three years old we were working," said Nadal. "I have 10 trophies here and without him none of them would have been possible.

"I like to say, if I can do it, someone else can do it. 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."

Wawrinka insisted he was not feeling physically fatigued after a four-and-a-half-hour battle against Andy Murray in the semi-finals and tried to focus on the positives having yet again found his best form at a major tournament.

The Swiss, the champion here in 2015, said: "For sure it's an amazing tournament. Today and right now, I'm not happy. I'm quite sad to have lost the final.

"It doesn't matter who you play, what the score is. You play the final of a grand slam, you don't want to lose. Trust me, I felt better the last three times when I win the trophy.

"But there is many, many, many good things. Two weeks or three weeks ago, I was really down, not winning matches in Masters 1000, not playing my best tennis, a lot of doubt in my game.

"In three weeks I won Geneva and made the final of a grand slam, so that's big for me. But I will need a few days to really see that."

Rafael Nadal's 15 Grand Slam titles

Australian Open (1): 2009 (bt Federer)

French Open (10): 2005 (bt Puerta), 2006 (bt Federer), 2007 (bt Federer), 2008 (bt Federer), 2010 (bt Soderling), 2011 (bt Federer), 2012 (bt Djokovic), 2013 (bt Ferrer), 2014 (bt Djokovic), 2017 (bt Wawrinka)

Wimbledon (2): 2008 (bt Federer), 2010 (bt Berdych)

US Open (2): 2010 (bt Djokovic), 2013 (bt Djokovic)

Rafael Nadal: Career in numbers

10 - Nadal's titles in Paris have come from 10 finals - he has never lost at Roland Garros once he has reached the semi-finals.

15 - Nadal is now on his own in second place for the most grand slam singles titles won by a man. He had been level with Pete Sampras. Roger Federer leads on 18.

79 - Nadal has now won all but two of the 81 matches he has played at Roland Garros in his career.

102 - The Spaniard has won 102 best-of-five-set matches on clay, with his only losses coming here to Robin Soderling in 2009 and against Novak Djokovic in 2014.

2 - Nadal will be ranked world number two on Monday, his highest ranking since October 2014.

53 - This is Nadal's 53rd clay-court title, more than any other player. He also won his 10th titles this year in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

35 - Nadal averaged just five games lost in his seven matches this year, three more than Bjorn Borg's record set in 1978.

3 - This was the third time in his career Nadal has won the tournament without dropping a set. He also did so in 2008 and 2010.

1 - Nadal's 6-0 6-1 6-0 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili in round three was the first time he has only lost one game in a match at Roland Garros.

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