When Rafael Nadal achieved 'La Decima' at Roland Garros

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When Rafael Nadal achieved 'La Decima' at Roland Garros

After two short campaigns at his beloved Major, Rafael Nadal was ready to restore the order at Roland Garros in 2017. The Spaniard defeated all seven rivals in straight sets and secured his tenth Parisian crown, becoming the first player with 'La Decima' at a single Major.

Competing in his tenth Roland Garros final, Nadal ousted the 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and five minutes to lift the trophy. Wawrinka had to dig deep in the semi-final against Andy Murray, and he had nothing left in the tank for a rested rival who was determined to lift the first Major trophy in three years!

Nadal was the favorite, and he proved that on the court after a rock-solid display on serve and return. Stan had never lost a Major final, but he could not keep a perfect score against the most formidable rival on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Rafa secured the 15th Major title and moved in front of Pete Sampras, trailing only Roger Federer. The Spaniard became the third-oldest Roland Garros champion in the Open era after Andres Gimeno and Ken Rosewall. He joined Bjorn Borg on the list of players with three Major crowns without losing a set.

Nadal earned another record and became the third player to conquer a Major trophy as a teen and in his 20s and 30s, following Ken Rosewall and Pete Sampras on that feat. Rafa did everything right on the court, crumbling the rival's backhand with his forehand and pushing strong on the return.

Stan made too many errors and failed to impose his strokes and move Rafa away from his comfort zone. Nadal dropped 15 points in 12 service games and defended the only break point offered to his opponent to keep the pressure on the other side.

Wawrinka served at 58%, and his initial shot did not exist in this final. The Swiss dropped over half of the points in his games and played against 13 break points. Rafa seized six to control the scoreboard and bring the victory home in just over two hours.

Like Dominic Thiem in the semi-final, Nadal took advantage of the rival's 40 unforced and almost 30 forced mistakes.

Rafael Nadal secured the tenth Roland Garros title in 2017.

On the other hand, the Spaniard tamed his strokes nicely and hit 25 winners with 13 unforced errors, more than enough to emerge at the top.

Rafa had the advantage in the shortest, mid-range and most advanced exchanges to become a deserved winner and celebrate another milestone at Roland Garros. Nadal held at love in the encounter's opening game, and Wawrinka closed the second with a powerful forehand for 1-1.

Stan earned a break chance in game three with a smash winner, and Rafa denied it with a powerful serve. Nadal closed the game with a service winner and created break opportunities in the next one. Wawrinka survived a challenging game to lock the result at 2-2 and remain on the positive side.

The Spaniard secured the fifth game with an ace and broke at 15 in the next one to forge the advantage and move 4-2 ahead. An impressive winner sent Rafa 5-2 in front, and he created a set point with a forehand winner in the next one.

The Swiss sprayed a forehand error, and the Spaniard took the opener 6-2 for a massive boost. Nadal broke Wawrinka at love in the second set's second game and held with a forehand crosscourt winner to open a 3-0 gap. An ace sent Rafa 5-2 in front, and he fired a service winner in game nine to claim the set 6-3 and move closer to the finish line after an hour and 26 minutes.

Nadal grabbed a break at the beginning of the third set with a forehand crosscourt winner and blasted another bullet from his left wing in the next one for 2-0. Stan gave his best to claim the fifth game and remain within one break deficit.

It was not to be for him, though, spraying a forehand error and falling 4-1 behind. Rafa cemented the second break with a hold at love in game six and delivered another break at 5-1 to seal the deal and start a massive celebration.