The World No.4, Rafael Nadal is eyeing to replicate his achievements on the French clay after successfully winning a decima at Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open each this year. The Spanish giant has had a terrific season so far, strengthening his grip on clay better than ever before and has already won 3 of the 4 tournaments he has played this time, the only expulsion being the Italian Open, where he squandered to the World No. 7, Dominic Thiem in the quarters. Nadal, entered the Grand Slam with being the hot favourite to win the title and still remains to be in the box-seat to clinch his 10th French Open title.
Nadal is coming off from an impressive win and a successful revenge over the Austrian, Dominic Thiem, the player who headlined last month for surging a major upset in knocking out the King of Clay of the Italian Open. Nadal decided his fate in a mere 25 games, winning in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-0. The Spaniard was seemingly in total control of the play since the very start, and capitalising on his opponent’s nervousness. Nadal played some exotic shots that exemplified perfect combo of aggression and placement.
The Spaniard’s quick feet on the dirt came again to his advantage in countering the Austrian’s perfect once in a blue moon shots for the game. The World No. 4 showed his prowess in a game that was dictated by his 71% first serve points won parallel to his excellent 76% second serve points.
The Spaniard failed to miss any chance offered to him that saw his contrary beaten ruthlessly alongside ending his great run of form. Though, Nadal hasn’t provingly come across any major hurdle in his walk to the final except Thiem, he still remains the favourite with a record unbeaten run of 9-0 in finals of French Open. To add to blostering his confidence are his 52-8 stats in his career final appearences on clay court, which is simply outstanding.
Interestingly, the Spaniard is yet to succumb to his opponent in any of the sets he has played in this years French Open. With losing just 29 games of all he has played this year on the French dirt, Nadal has set his prying eyes strongly on grabbing his 15th Grand Slam title.
Speaking of his opponent , Stan Wawrinka is the current World No.3 and has struggled to put up some great performances this year until he lifted his first trophy of the Clay season recently at Geneva. Apart from that, the Swiss has nothing else to leverage his confidence to take a rise. The World No.3 is entering the bout with a 5 set win over the currently crowned player of the ATP World Rankings, Andy Murray. The Swiss achieved the win in a hard fought battle against a struggling Murray, who yet to find his ace form. The match saw a balanced game,full of ups and downs initially until the British national decided to mess up and capitulated to the Swiss’ placements all round the court.
To compensate a part of the limelight, the Swiss national has a record of 3-0 in Grand Slam finals and would be looking forward to his second French Open title. Despite all this, Wawrinka still can’t be a match to Nadal on the red surface considering a rather dull performace on Clay finals with 7 wins to 5 losses of all the Clay court finals he has played.
Head-to-Head: This could be rather considered as a joke looking at the 15-3 split-up of matches between Nadal and Wawrinka respectively. They most recently clashed at the Monte-Carlo Masters where the Spaniard was offered a cheap win in just 17 games. The clay surface has mostly favored its king with Nadal holding a 6-1 record against his counter-part for the game.
This stats certainly prove to be lethal to Wawrinka’s confidence ahead of the final. Though Nadal can’t take the Swiss for granted looking at his 10 match winning streak on clay he is coming into the bout with. Nadal, although has done a lot for the final but still hasn’t done enough for the title. The pundits as well as the fans are placing their odds on the Spanish national, though you may never know what surprises lie ahead.
This will be one of the most captivating and gripping ties of the season so far as Rafael Nadal looks to create history with a decima of French Open whilst attempting to conquer an in-form Swiss in Stan Wawrinka at the finals of French Open 2017.
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