Championship Match:  Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs.  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Perhaps it was understandable, Wawrinka had a marathon semifinal match against Andy Murray and while he had a day to recover, it was not enough time. As fit as these players are, we need to be realistic, he is no longer in his twenties and it was ill-advised to drop the third set after he had broken Murray a couple of times in that set. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had to have realized that he was hampering his chances of winning the final on Sunday.
However, in his press conference he was quite confident that he would be ready to compete at his fullest. Was that positive thinking? He did not start the match playing with that conviction and although he gave a valiant effort, it was clearly evident that he was not at his best. Sure, he could have won, if his opponent was not Nadal, who was in the best form he has been in on tour for a long time.
We may have wondered if he could he maintain this form at another Major though? Would there be lingering doubts after he lost in the Australian Open final earlier this year? Would anxiety be an issue? He may have had doubts, but his remedy for those doubts was to hit his forehand with more pace. Once Nadal got the confidence back in his forehand, there was no stopping him. Sure, there were some anxious moments, especially as the reality of winning got closer; however, Nadal continued to go for his shots and denied his opponent any chance of derailing him from his goal.
There is nothing left to prove; however, knowing Nadal, he is not ready just yet to call it quits. Perhaps he has aspirations of winning another title at Wimbledon. He has not performed well in recent years on grass and if he needs to be motivated, that lack of positive results on grass may spur him on. For now, he will enjoy the enormity of what he has accomplished today, winning a historic tenth (10) Roland Garros title, a feat that has not been accomplished in the Open Era, and keeping his perfect record in finals at Roland Garros intact.
With his 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Wawrinka, he wins the title for the third time without dropping a set and did so losing the fewest games in his history of winning this title. Now he has fifteen (15) Major titles and stands alone in second place for most singles Major titles won.
Nadal’s road to the final – semifinals: 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 (Thiem); quarterfinals: 6-2, 2-0 (Pablo Carreno Busta); R4: 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 (Roberto Bautista Agut); R3: 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 (Nikoloz Basilashvili); R2: 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 (Haase); R1: 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 (Benoit Paire)
CONGRATULATIONS to Rafael Nadal, your hard work has paid off once again and you have earned your third decima this season (Monte Carlo Rolex Masters -10 titles; Barcelona -10 titles; and now, Roland Garros -10 titles).
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