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Nadal is the best player ever on clay, says Wawrinka

20 June 2017

Rafael Nadal's incredible winning streak at Roland Garros started in 2005, when on Court 1 as a 18-year-old he faced a 10-year older opponent than him, German Lars Burgsmuller, who was beaten 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-1.

After Rafael Nadal captured his tenth French Open singles title he can now lay claim, if he could not already, to being the best single surface player of all time.

The 31-year-old Spaniard routed Stan Wawrinka at Roland Garros on Sunday 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times.

"I am very sorry to say that I am not going to be able play Queen's next week", Nadal said, announcing his withdrawal from the tournament which starts on Monday.

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He said: "This tournament, I have been playing great during the whole event since the beginning".

"It's true that 10 is a attractive number, but actually my favourite is nine", said Nadal, the nine-time champion at Roland Garros who faces 2015 victor Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Murray remains on top with a lead of 2,605 points but while the Scot has 2,500 points to defend during the grass-court season following his triumphs at Queen's and Wimbledon last summer, Nadal has nothing to defend because he was injured at the time. "And I missed playing at Wimbledon", said Nadal.

Going by that trend, Nadal should enter the Wimbledon as a significant favourite. And I finished the year being World No. 1, winning here (in Paris), winning the US Open.

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Nadal burst onto the scene as a 19 year old phenom when he won his first French Open Title in 2005.

Nadal was forced to pull out of last year's French Open - the tournament he cherishes most - after potential career-threatening damage to his left wrist tendons.

Nadal has not had to wait as long as Real Madrid did for a 10th European title but, for a man who won nine titles in 10 years, two years without one was virtually an eternity. "Rafa could arrive here (at Roland Garros) next year in May with 18". While other players experience ups and downs, Nadal never appears to falter, consistently emerging from the field as the best player in the world.

With the win, Nadal also extended his head-to-head lead over Wawrinka to a stellar 16-3, and improves to a flawless 10-0 in French finals. The achievement of winning 10 French Open titles is called "La Decima", and has been described by tennis legend John McEnroe as the ultimate sporting achievement.

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