Tennis fans are in for an absolute treat on Sunday when nine times French Open champion Rafael Nadal locks horns against Swiss tennis ace Stanislas Wawrinka in the men's singles finals at the marvelous Philippe Chatrier arena at Roland Garros in Paris.
Rafael Nadal hailed as arguably the greatest clay courter of all time is bidding for a record tenth French Open title. Nadal who has already cemented his credentials as the 'King of Clay' looks favorite to accomplish the much awaited 'LA DECIMA'. However, he shall first have to overcome a tough opponent in Stanislas Wawrinka who played some phenomenal tennis to make it to his second French Open final.
Road to the Finals
Nadal made easy work of rising Austrian tennis sensation Dominic Thiem by registering a comprehensive straight set win in the semis to sail into the title clash. Meanwhile, Wawrinka had to sweat hard to overcome a stiff resistance from World number One Andy Murray to win his semis in a four set marathon. Nadal has had a phenomenal run to the final by not dropping a single set.
Build Up to the French Open
Rafael Nadal had the perfect build up to the tournament winning the Monte Carlo Masters, Madrid Masters and Barcelona title. Meanwhile Wawrinka brought in a rich vein of form by winning the ATP 250 Geneva Open.
Nadal's Astonishing Record at French Open
Nadal's phenomenal consistency at Roland Garros can be measured with his astonishing 78-2 wins record on the red clay at Roland Garros. Since winning his first title way back in 2005, Nadal went onto add another eight crowns in a span of 11 years. Nadal is currently placed second on the list of most singles Grand Slam titles. The Spaniard tied with American Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slam titles in only behind the leader Roger Federer who has 18 titles to his credit.
Stanislas Wawrinka has created a mark of his own amid the dominance of the 'Big 4' in slams. Wawrinka has three Grand Slam titles to his credit. Wawrinka has tasted success at French Open winning the title in 2015. Wawrinka is the only man apart from his countryman Roger Federer and Serbian Novak Djokovic to have won the French Open title in an era where Nadal has reigned supreme with 9 titles.
Head to Head - Rafael Nadal vs Stanislas Wawrinka
Nadal has an overwhelming 15-3 win record against Wawrinka in all ATP matches over the years. In their last meeting, Nadal beat Wawrinka in straight sets at the quarterfinals of the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal also won their last encounter at 2013 Roland Garros when he beat the Swiss in the quarterfinals. Wawrinka had inflicted a painful defeat to an injured Nadal at the Australian Open finals in 2014. So the Spaniard would like to extract revenge against the Swiss at the big stage on his favorite surface.
Going by records, past history between the two players and current playing form, Nadal surely goes in as the firm favourite to win the title. However he shall have to play to his maximum potential to beat Wawrinka, who is known to topple the big guns at Grand Slam finals.
The two gladiators of tennis looking in sublime form could produce some moments of magic on the court for their fans to cherish for a lifetime. The French Open men' singles finals has all the ingredients of a classic in the making. Hope the better player wins.