"It's truly incredible", Nadal told the crowd afterward.
Turned out he could, and he did, as masterful as at any time.
- Nadal is one set away from his 10th title at Roland Garros after taking a 6-2 6-3 lead against Wawrinka.
Or as the Nadals preferred: La Decima, Spanish for "The Tenth".
"I try my best in all events, that's the real thing", Nadal said, according to the New York Times. I played against the biggest clay-court player ever. "Roland Garros is the most important tournament for me".
Only Australia's Margaret Court has more victories at a Grand Slam tournament, with 11 Australian Open women's singles wins between 1960 and 1973. It always looked like it was going to be a Nadal match.
5 - Nadal is one of a quintet of men to win a career Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Nadal, 31, came through 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 against the Swiss third seed to claim his 15th major title.
"He's the best player ever on clay".
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Comparing North Korea to China, he said it was unclear whether Kim was simply hiding his full nuclear arsenal. In 2013, state media said leader Kim had watched a drone attack drill on a simulated South Korean target.
As a tired Wawrinka sliced a volley into the net on match point Nadal collapsed on his back on the baseline. "But not only here". Wawrinka won the 2015 French Open, one of his three major championships. I (told) him: 'It's hard for you. "And here, we had the confirmation".
Nadal took his match wins tally to a 43-6 record this year, including a 24-1 stretch on clay.
Nadal's desolation then was in stark contrast to the joy he showed here at the moment of victory, lying flat on his back in customary fashion to celebrate a remarkable achievement. "The last couple of years have been unbelievable for you".
Well, he sure proved to be precisely that Sunday, when the conditions were exactly to the liking of a guy who grew up on the island of Mallorca. The sun was shining, there was barely a trace of cloud in the bright blue sky and the temperature was about 85 degrees (30 Celsius). He never trailed, and took the first set in just 40 minutes.
The problem against Nadal, Wawrinka said, was more mental.
His collection of Slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury. It was obvious Wawrinka knew any outside shot he had at an upset was fading when he snapped a racket on his knee following the second set loss.
That would be just about where the joy ended for the Swiss national. On this day, he was terrific.
Nadal won for the 16th time in 19 meetings with Wawrinka, who insisted there was plenty to be positive about following his recent performances. Once passable, it is now potent. He converted 6 of 13 break points in his final phase to achieve the 10th success. That would be Wawrinka's lone break chance.
The Spaniard wrapped up the set with his second break of the match when Wawrinka sent a forehand long.
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