After the 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko’s upset of Simona Halep to lift the women’s singles title at the French Open 2017, we shift out gaze to the men’s singles where seasoned customers Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka clash to stake claim on the men’s title. Nadal, Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem had gone into the semi-final of this year’s tournament without dropping a set. Nadal remains unbeaten but Wawrinka has come into the summit clash only after a five-setter with world no. 1 Andy Murray.
The last time the two met at a Grand Slam final was in the 2014 Australian Open. At that time, a hobbling Nadal, only a shadow of what he was and what he is now, went down to the Swiss to give him his first Grand Slam title. Wawrinka has since won the French Open in 2015 and the US Open in 2016. Since then, Nadal has spent nearly half a year on the sidelines due to injury and has lost at Melbourne once again to another Swiss. But this time, he gave no quarter to Roger Federer and it was only at the end of another classic that the match was lost.
Nadal has been on a rampaging run since, winning the Barcelona Open and reaching the finals at Rome. He has hustled into this year’s French Open, justifying the tag of ‘King of Clay.’ He is chasing a record-extending 10th title at Roland Garros. Wawrinka, on the other hand, has a chance at completing a Career Grand Slam at the Wimbledon Championship later in the year. Not many could hope for a better warm-up to that milestone than beating Nadal in his own living room.