Rafael Nadal dominated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to win his 10th French Open on Sunday, June 11, local time, according to sports website espn.com.
This is the first time any man has achieved La Decima in any Grand Slam event (Rafa already managed this feat in Monte Carlo and Barcelona this year), according to the report.
The only person to win a singles title more often was Margaret Court, but her 11 Australian Open victories spanned the amateur and professional eras.
Nadal has dominated the French Open in a way no one could have imagined, especially when you consider he has played in an era with Roger Federer and Djokovic.
Nadal’s run through the Roland Garros draw speaks to his motivation, desire and longevity. And his forehand? That alone might be enshrined in history as arguably the single best stroke tennis has ever seen.
“This tournament I have been playing great during the whole event since the beginning,” Nadal said afterward. “So it’s been, I think, a perfect Roland Garros for me. So it’s not that I am playing more or less aggressive. I am [just] playing well. And when you play well, you have the chance to play more aggressive.”
In soccer, La Decima was originally used to refer to Real Madrid’s quest to be the first 10-time European Cup (now Champions League) champs, which the team managed in 2014. (They have added two more since.) Ryan Giggs and his manager, Alex Ferguson, won 13 Premier League titles in England with Manchester United between 1993 and 2013, an incredible achievement. But these were team feats.
From 1947 to 1962, the New York Yankees won the World Series 10 times. The Boston Celtics won the NBA championship 11 times in 13 years from 1957 to 1969. But again, they had a whole squad to share in the success.
But as always, Nadal was quick to praise his camp.
“The team spirit has been very positive since the beginning,” Nadal said. “Great combination with Francis [Roig], Toni [Nadal] and Carlos [Moya]. … We have been working a really good atmosphere and that really helps.”
Just as Nadal did in 2013, when he recovered from injury to win two of the four majors, he has shown enormous resilience. Reaching the final in Australia at the start of the year set him up well, and by the time he reached the clay-court season, his confidence was high. He ripped through Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. And then the French Open happened.
For the 10th time at Roland Garros in 13 years, no one could stop Nadal. And moving forward, he might find himself rolling downhill. Rafa moved up to No. 2 in the world. With Murray defending 2,500 points over the next five weeks compared to none by the Spaniard (he missed the grass-court season in 2016), Nadal could be No. 1 by the time Wimbledon is completed on July 16.
He’s also miles ahead in the race for points earned in 2017, so if leaping to the top position in the world doesn’t happen at Wimbledon, it is probably only a matter of time. And with Grand Slam title No. 15, he is now back within three of Roger Federer on the list of all-time winners.