Rafael Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets Sunday in the final match of the tennis French Open, winning the grand slam for the 10th time in his career. With the French Open crown, Nadal went ahead of Pete Sampras. Now he is 31, the shorts are shorter, the hair more closely cropped, the shirt has sleeves. "I can talk about the game, about what I did, about what he did, but at the end of the day it's quite clear". (There) have been some tough moments with injuries, so it's great to have (a) big success like this again. Nadal said when he first won the title in 2005 he would not have imagined he would still be playing in 2017, let alone winning, and said 10 titles had a special ring to it. After holding his serve in the first game, Nadal broke Wawrinka's serve to love in the next.
"For sure he's playing the best he's ever played, not only here", Wawrinka said. Trust me, I'm very happy that I'm the one who did it.
Wawrinka, who spent almost five hours more on court than Nadal to reach the final, looked tentative and heavy-legged although he did have a glimmer in the third game when Nadal was forced to save a break point.
Regardless, Nadal may not be the dominant, world-beating player he once was, but it's nice to see he can still hit that high gear at his favorite tournament. "But not only here". But not only here: since the beginning of the year, you can see he's playing more aggressively, staying closer to the line. "I was trying to play better. That's why he's winning so much again".
Nadal became the first player to beat Federer in a Grand Slam final; the Swiss star had been 7-0.
"I didn't play my best tennis", said Wawrinka at the conference. I was a little bit hesitating with my selection of shots. "One last thing, for me playing on this court I feel the support".
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"The reality is I have not had any".
With three major titles under his belt, Wawrinka is known for his aggressive backhand shots and has a flawless 3-0 record in Grand Slam finals.
Afterward, Nadal said about Djokovic: "He deserves to win this tournament". "It's something tough to describe when you just say you won 10 French Opens", he said. The 29-year-old is just New Zealand's second Grand Slam victor in the modern era. That's something so big for the sport.
Should he pull the trigger early or trade blows with the best clay-court player of all time?
Nadal also won Roland Garros in 2006, 2007 and 2008, then after a fourth-round loss on bad knees in 2009, he grabbed a record five in a row from 2010-14. "If I have pain in the knees, then I know from experience that it's nearly impossible", he said. So I hope that my knees hold up well and I can have the preparation that I really need and the preparation that I wanted. But if I have pain on my knees I know it is nearly impossible and my chances are not there.