Stan Wawrinka vs. Rafael Nadal French Open 2017

Ruben Hill
June 11, 2017

Yet third seed Wawrinka is not the sort to throw in the towel, as he showed in his epic five-set semi-final win over world number one Andy Murray.

Commissioner of Tennis John McEnroe has a poem for Rafael Nadal ahead of his French Open final with Stan Wawrinka. Nadal rode on his unstoppable run in his quest for his 10th success at Roland Garros as he beat promising Austrian star Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the semi-finals.

As for Nadal, the Spaniard has once again stated that his final is going to be tough match but that remains to be seen. "I would prefer 10 over nine, no doubt".

On his way to the title match, he has shipped just 29 games, six fewer than when he made the 2012 final and just two more than the record of 27 conceded by Bjorn Borg in his 1978 trophy season.

"Rafa is playing ideal tennis", Alex Corretja, a former French Open finalist who went on to coach Andy Murray, said. But of course you don't want to lose a Grand Slam final, do you?

"I don't care about the games I lost or not, or sets or these kind of things", Nadal said. In most matches two right-handed players exchange rallies from forehand to forehand cross court, but when a player rallies cross-court with Nadal, they are actually playing into a strong, stable and secure backhand shot that very rarely breaks down.

"I need to play aggressive, I need to play long, I need to try to not let him play from easy positions", said Nadal.

Realistically speaking, everyone expects Nadal to win the final on Sunday, June 11, given how dominant he has been since the clay court season started. Wawrinka's Australian Open win came in four sets. However, he faces an opponent he would have least liked to play in the final in Wawrinka. "He's playing aggressively and he's defending well". But Andy is always there, does unusual things with drop shots, and makes it very hard for you.

"I think to play Rafa on clay in French Open in a final is probably the biggest challenge you can have in tennis". After this, I want to celebrate and then I want to recover for Sunday.

Wawrinka won the 2015 clay-court major in Paris, beating Novak Djokovic, and also counts triumphs at the 2014 Australian Open and last year's U.S. Open in his Grand Slam haul. Since then, Nadal has beaten Wawrinka on the clay surface, in their last meeting in Monte Carlo previous year.

Now only Stan Wawrinka remains between the 31-year-old and another record as the first man to reach double digits at a single slam.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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