Rafael Nadal captured his record 10th French Open title on Sunday, dominating Stan Wawrinka in straight sets at Roland Garros.
The fourth-seeded Spaniard continued his clay-court prowess, easily winning 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe-Chatrier in two hours, five minutes for his 15th Grand Slam title overall.
Nadal’s “La Decima” — Spanish for 10th — in Paris lifts him into historic territory. He becomes the first man or woman in the Open Era, which began in 1968, to win 10 titles at a Grand Slam. It marked another near-perfect performance in his favorite event and on his favorite surface.
“It’s truly incredible,” Nadal told the crowd afterward. “In this final, to win the Decima is very, very special. I’m really emotional.
“The feeling I have here is impossible to describe. Difficult to compare to other places. For me the nerves, the adrenaline I feel when I play on this court is impossible to compare to another feeling. It’s the most important event in my career without a doubt.”
The 31-year-old Nadal moved into solo second on the all-time major titles list, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras for second place and behind only Roger Federer’s 18.
Nadal will ascend to world No. 2 in the ATP Rankings released Monday as well, moving into the top two for the first time since 2014.
The third-seeded Wawrinka of Switzerland was vying for his second Roland Garros title, winning in 2015 for one of his three major championships. He is now 3-1 in Grand Slam finals.
“It’s always been an honor to play against you,” Wawrinka told Nadal as he addressed the crowd. “Something really special and just congrats for your career and all your team.”
Nadal did not lose a set in this year’s tournament and only dropped a total of 35 games. He is now 79-2 at the French Open over his career and 102-2 in all best-of-five-set matches on clay.
Nadal now holds a 16-3 edge over the 32-year-old Wawrinka in head-to-head meetings — including 6-1 on clay — and made it 10-for-10 in French Open finals.
This was the first Roland Garros final between two players aged 30 and over since 1969, when 30-year-old Rod Laver defeated 34-year-old Ken Rosewall.
Nadal, who fired 27 winners, won all 12 service games, saving the lone break point he faced and making just 12 unforced errors.
In the final set, another break gave Nadal a 4-1 lead and he would confirm his date with destiny as Wawrinka netted a backhand on his second match point.