Rafael Nadal experienced the second and so far the last Roland Garros defeat in 2015, leaving the door open for the new champion in Paris. Stan Wawrinka seized the opportunity to claim his second Major title, ousting Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic en route to the crown.
Nadal would withdraw from Roland Garros 2016 due to an injury, returning in 2017 and securing four straight titles at his beloved Major to restore the order and write history books. Speaking about Nadal's 13 Roland Garros crowns, Stan said it's one of the most outstanding achievements that our sport has ever seen, praising the Spaniard and everything he has accomplished in Paris since 2005.
Nadal claimed the 13th Roland Garros title from 16 trips to Paris in October, beating all the rivals and difficult conditions to extend his unique reign at the clay Major! Facing challenging conditions unseen in Paris before, the Spaniard suffered only eight breaks in seven encounters, delivered incredible numbers on both serve and return and left all the rivals behind.
Rafa toppled Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia and Sebastian Korda in style in the opening four rounds, gathering a boost ahead of more challenging opponents. Nadal had to work harder to pass the young Italian Jannik Sinner, losing serve twice and trailing in both the first and second set.
Staying focused, Rafa broke back in the last moment and took the opening set in the tie break and shifted into a higher gear from the middle of the second set to toppled a teenager and reach the semis. Following the Rome quarter-final loss to Diego Schwartzman, Nadal was eager to serve revenge in Paris, beating the Argentine 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 in over three hours to secure the final place.
Stan Wawrinka praised Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros record.
Schwartzman recovered his game in the third set to challenge Nadal, who reached a tie break and won it 7-0 to seal the deal and set Novak Djokovic clash for the title.
Ready to go all the way, Nadal stormed over Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes, securing the 13th Roland Garros crown and joining Roger Federer on 20 Major trophies. At 34, Nadal won his fourth Major without losing a set, firing 31 winners and 14 unforced errors and performing strongly from start to finish to sail over the top.
Novak sprayed 52 unforced errors and stood powerless in the opening two sets, taking only two games and recovering a bit in the third. Eager to avoid disaster, Djokovic saved a break chance in the third set's third game and pulled the break back at 2-3 to remain in contention.
Nadal held comfortably by the end and earned a break at 5-5 after Novak's double fault, emerging at the top with a hold at love and celebrating the 20th Major title. "Rafa's 13 Roland Garros victories establish one of the most outstanding achievements in our sport's history. We are fortunate to have him, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer around," Stan Wawrinka said.