Once Again On Sunday, the 31-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal coasted to a record 10th French Open title, demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earned him a 15th Grand Slam crown.
Rafael Nadal’s collection of Slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer. His last Grand Slam title before this year’s Roland Garros came in Paris in 2014. He admitted that there were doubts over whether or not he’d recover his former powers.
“I have doubts every day but that’s good as it makes me work hard with more intensity,” he said.
“This is by far the best tennis I have ever seen Rafa play,” said the Eurosport commentator and former British number one Greg Rusedski. “And at 31 years of age, that is frightening. Absolutely no-one would have beaten him today, no chance whatsoever. All these extra layers he’s put into his game makes him unstoppable, like a new guy out there. And to do that at his age is so difficult. He’s on track possibly to catch up with Roger Federer in Grand Slam titles.”
Nadal triumphed 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times.
“I didn’t play my best tennis,” said Wawrinka. “I think I was a little bit hesitating with my selection of shots. He puts this doubt in your head when you play against him. For sure he’s playing the best he’s ever played, playing more aggressive, staying close to the line.”
After winning his ninth Roland Garros and 14th major in 2014, Nadal’s best performance at the Slams was two quarter-final spots. His world ranking slipped as low as 10 in 2015 and his 2016 French Open was ended prematurely after the second round by a wrist injury. But he finished runner-up at the Australian Open in January, losing in five sets to Federer and he was back in business. He dominated the clay court season with titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. He lost just one match on clay all year while his win on Sunday took his Paris record to a staggering 79 wins and just two losses.