Wimbledon a complicated prospect for Nadal

Beth Cruz
June 12, 2017

"You are a great example and it's always been an honour to play against you".

Nadal was never threatened by his opponent, with Wawrinka possibly feeling the effects of the four and a half hours he needed to beat Andy Murray in the semifinals 48 hours earlier.

Nadal will return to action after a one-week break at the Aegon Championships in London which will be his first tournament on grass leading up to the second Grand Slam of the year - the Wimbledon championships.

"I want to progress", Wawrinka said.

"It's something very, very special and unique". But the No. 10 is what has kept bringing him joy and fulfillment this spring.

Nadal's 53 clay-court title caps a remarkable 12-month turnaround for the Spaniard. He could have done that - and still no one would be surprised. Also at the ready was a highlight video that showed all 10 of his championship points dating to 2005. "I am not an arrogant person". "Right now, I'm going to have doubts even in a few days, because in tennis, every week is a new story". "To win a 10th time here is very special for me".

"If I have pain in my knees, then I know from experience that it's nearly impossible", he said.

He said: "There has been a little while since I played a very good Wimbledon. I just won the most important event of the year for me, so that's the only thing that matters today, no?" he said.

Should he continue to pile up victories at Roland Garros, it will indeed be without Uncle Toni.

Rafael Nadal moved up by two spots to stand at the highest placing in the ATP rankings since October 2014 - No. 2 while Jelena Ostapenko jumped from 47th to a career-high 12th in the WTA rankings after they won the French Open 2017 title this weekend.

Since winning his maiden title on his debut in 2005, Nadal has only failed to take home the trophy on three occasions - in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling, in 2015 when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic and a year ago when he had to pull out because of a wrist injury.

But for Rafael Nadal, plagued by injuries and forced out of tennis's limelight over the past few seasons, Sunday's victory at Roland Garros was "unique".

Wawrinka at least halted the run at seven games but there was no hint of the match turning at this point, as the women's final had on Saturday. I just won the most important event of the year for me.

"The only thing that I know is I am playing well now".

This season he has undeniably returned to the fore: dropping weight and recovering all the sting in his fearsome forehand, although there is much more to this resurgence than that signature shot.

He fought off four break points in the next game but was broken two games later and the set soon followed. His two-handed backhand was decisive, too.

Wawrinka had dominated the baseline against Murray and smacked 87 winners but here he was being pushed way back by Nadal's vicious spin. This has been his lowest ranking in seven years.

Moya, 40, has seen his new charge reach the Australian Open final, losing to Federer, and now reclaim his French Open title.

But defeating a healthy, confident Nadal on the terre battue of Paris is still one of sport's greatest challenges. A lesser competitor might have lost his edge long ago, but Nadal is still sliding after drop shots and throwing his body into topspin forehands with the gusto of a younger player.

What more history will await next year?

There were emotional scenes on Philippe Chatrier Court as Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni, was asked to take part in the trophy ceremony.

The world is very different, but the men's game has remained surprisingly resistant to change.

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