The Legend of Rafael Nadal on clay surface is back on the rise as he breezed through a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, demolition of Stan Wawrinka for the 2017 French Open championship to become the first male to win 10 titles in a grand slam event.
Nadal, considered by many as the best player ever to play on the red surface, remains undefeated, he is 10-0, every time he reaches the finals of the French Open. Since his initial participation in the event in 2005, he has only failed to advance to the finals three times, when he lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals in 2015 and when he had to withdraw after winning his first two opening matches last year due to injuries.
He is now 79-2 in the total French Open sets he played. He also matched his record of winning at Roland Garros without dropping a set, a feat he also achieved in 2008 and 2010.
Nadal was thought to be on the brink of extinction after a so-so performance in 2015 and 2016, mainly because of injuries, but the King of the Clay showed he is on the mend and far from being done as he strikes back in 2017, barely losing the Australian Open in five sets to Federer and the rousing win in the French Open.
Nadal’s dominance in a clay surface is unprecedented and dwarf’s his nearest pursuers.
He is now two clear of Max Decugis’ 8 titles in the all-time list. Bjorn Borg’s six French Open is the most during the Open Era. Chris Evert led the women’s side with 7 titles.
From the looks of it, the 10 career French Open titles, which further cements Nadal’s place as the greatest clay court player in history, is a record that may never be broken, much less, even duplicated.
The Spaniard’s victory also broke a tie for the most titles won in single grand slam event during the open era, when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professional players to compete with amateurs which began in 1968, moving ahead of Martina Navratilova’s nine Wimbledon tiles.
Only Margaret Court won more titles in the all-time list with her 11 Australian Opens which she won between 1960 and 1973.
Nadal is now three clear of Pete Sampras and Roger Feder’s 7 Wimbledons for a male’s dominance of a grand slam event,
His 10 French Open finals appearances tied him with Bill Tilden, who did it before the open era, and Roger Federer, with 10 Wimbledon finals appearance, for the record.
The win was the 15th career grand slam title for Nadal. He also has two US Opens, two Wimbledon Opens and an Australian Open
Nadal broke a tie with Pete Sampras for second place in career grand slams. He is now back three off Federer’s career-leading 18 titles and three up on fourth placer Djokovic, who has 12.
Nadal becomes the third man to win a Grand Slam title in his teens, his 20s and his 30s. Only Ken Rosewall and Sampras have achieved the feat before.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS