Rafael Nadal is a win away from becoming the first man in Open Era to win 10 titles at a Grand Slam as he is set to feature in the Men's singles final of French Open 2017 at Roland Garros Stadium on Sunday. However, standing in his way is the Swiss challenger - Stanislas Wawrinka, who has a 3-0 record in major finals.
Nadal has been in imperious touch ever since he came back from an injury layoff, that cut his 2016 season short. The 14-time Grand Slam winner reached the final of Australian Open. He ended his title drought with his 10th at Monte Carlo Masters, after which he headed into Roland Garros with a staggering 17-1 record on the dirt in 2017.
Nadal has not dropped a set yet in the tournament and has just conceded 29 games enroute to the title match. He made light work of Novak-Djokovic-slayer Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the semi-final on Friday, which was also his third win over the impressive Austrian this season.
On the other hand, 2015 champion Wawrinka survived in a hard-fought last-four match against world number one Andy Murray 6-7(6), 6-3. 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1. The Swiss star once again refused to budge and kept coming back into the match despite the Scot dominating the initial proceedings.
Wawrinka struggled on clay with early exits in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome, but a title in Geneva gave him the much-needed confidence ahead of the big test in Paris. The 2015 champion kept getting better, as always, through the tournament, decimating the likes of Alexandr Dolgopolov, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils enroute to the quarter-final, in which he hit peak form by decimating in-form Marin Cilic in straight sets.
Known for his resilience and his ability to step up on big occasions, Wawrinka is expected to give a stiff fight to Nadal. However, the Spaniard, with a 9-0 record in French Open finals, does not look like putting a foot wrong on the dirt this season, which makes his Roland Garros La Decima inevitable.