Rafael Nadal – Stan Wawrinka Preview
Roland Garros’s enormous champion is former world number one Novak Djokovic, who in 2016 managed to conquer the only grand slam trophy he missed in his career. In that final, Nole defeated ATP leader Andy Murray with a score of 3-1 in sets.
The most successful player in the history of this competition is none other than Rafael Nadal, with 9 titles to date. His last title won in Paris came in 2014 when Rafa defeated Novak Djokovic with a score of 3-1 in sets, shattering the hope of the Serbian to win his first trophy at Roland Garros.
The Roland Garros tournament is no stranger to the Swiss player. Stan has 3 consecutive semifinals in Paris, but also two finals played in the last 3 years. In 2015, he conquered the first and only title so far, through his success in front of Novak Djokovic, a score of 3-1 in sets.
At this edition, Wawrinka had a perfect run until the semifinals, winning in minimum sets by Jozef Kovalik (152 ATP), Aleksandr Dolgopolov (89 ATP), Fabio Fognini (29 ATP), Gael Monfils (16 ATP) and Marin Cilic (8 ATP). In the penultimate act, he had the first really tough test at this tournament.
Andy Murray, the finalist in 2016, was the Swiss opponent, and the two offered a real show to those who were present both in the stands and in front of the screens. The British player led 2-1 to sets, at those times, Wawrinka again showed why he is one of the strongest players in the circuit from a psychological point of view. He managed to come back and take his fourth act to the tiebreak, because he did not even give Andy a chance in a set where the British failed to get his job.
The most titled player in the history of this competition has scrolled to this edition. On his way to the final, Rafa did not give up even one set, but his only really difficult opponent came just in the semifinals. In that game, the Iberian had Dominic Thiem (7 ATP), probably the best player in the world on clay, after Nadal. The Spanish player had no mercy towards his young opponent, who resisted only the first two sets, ceded at 3 and 4. In set 3, Rafa benefited from Thiem’s fatigue, before which he did not even give up Game, winning that last act with the score of 6-0.
In 2017, Rafa showed a truly disarming form for his opponents, the only player who really managed to challenge him being his great rival, Roger Federer, who defeated Rafa both in the Australian Open final and In Miami, but also in the 8th Indian Wells.
This season was dominated by Nadal, who won the Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid tournaments, winning a total of 23 wins. The only defeat in 2017 suffered on the clay was the one in Rome, where it yielded in the minimum set in front of Dominic Thiem, score 6-4, 6-3.
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