(June 9, 2017) Rafael Nadal will go for an unprecedented tenth French Open title on Sunday, while Stan Wawrinka ties to keep his record in major finals perfect. Both men won their semifinal matches on Friday in very different ways to reach the final.
No. 4 Nadal had a very easy time with the man who handed him his only clay court season loss this year. The Spaniard dominated the sixth seed, Austria’s Dominic Thiem 6-3. 6-4, 6-0 to reach his tenth Roland Garros final.
For the third seed Wawrinka, he won a five-set struggle against the No. 1 seed Andy Murray 6-7(8), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1 in four hours and 34 minutes. Last year he lost to Murray in the semifinals of Paris.
Nadal goes into the final having only dropped 29 games through six matches.
“I don’t care about the games I lost or not, or sets, or these kind of things,” Nadal said to media. “Only thing I care is I have been playing very well during the whole event.”
“I’m extremely confident about what I do, about how I feel, about all the hard work I have accomplished over the past days, weeks, months, years,” said Wawrinka of his win. “I know that mentally, when I’m there, it’s difficult to beat me.”
“I’m really happy to be in the final,” said Wawrinka. “I think it was quite a tough match today. A big battle. I want to enjoy it a lot, because, as I say, it’s not all the time you can say you’re going to play a final of a Grand Slam, especially in Paris. I really want to enjoy that.”
It will be a battle between two former French Open champions not only for the title but also for the No. 2 ranking on Sunday. Nadal holds a 15-3 head-to-head record against his Swiss opponent. Nadal is 14-7 in major finals, while Wawrinka is 3-0.
In the all-thirty-something final, Wawrinka at 32 will be the oldest finalist since 1973.
2017 Roland Garros – Day 15 Men’s Preview