Rafael Nadal produced a magisterial display to sweep aside the challenge of Stan Wawrinka in straight sets and further entrench his place in tennis royalty, completing ‘La Decima’ by claiming the Coupe des Mousquetaires for the first time since 2014 and also becoming the first player in the Open Era to win the same major 10 times.
The ‘King of Clay’ was in imperious form throughout the two weeks in Paris as he triumphed without dropping a set at Roland Garros for the third time, victory sending him up to second in the world rankings for the first time since October 2014, while the 35 games he dropped throughout the tournament is the second lowest in a slam in the Open Era.
His rise in the rankings has been underpinned by a phenomenal clay-court season in which he also took glory in Monte Carlo and Barcelona for the 10th time – no other man has won even one tournament on 10 separate occasions in the Open Era.
Wawrinka, the 2015 champion who had won each of his three previous grand slam final appearances, had no response for Nadal’s wizardry from the baseline on Court Philippe Chatrier as he was forced to play in uncomfortable areas from where he could not apply any pressure.
The Spaniard, a losing finalist at the Australian Open, proved unplayable as he clinched a 15th major to move clear of Pete Sampras and just three back of Roger Federer’s record haul of 18 – but at Roland Garros he is the undisputed king.