A magical end in Paris



Originally published on 11/06/17 00:00

On the final day of Roland Garros 2017, Rafael Nadal achieved the long-awaited dream of "La Decima" as he won his 10th French Open title in straight sets.

The Spaniard, who won 6-2 6-3 6-1, is the first man in the Open Era to win any Grand Slam 10 times. Much to Stan Wawrinka’s disappointment, he never got a look-in against the King of Clay, whose stats demonstrated the full force of his skill on the surface…

Nadal only faced one break point in the match. (Which he won).

He only made one unforced error in the final set.

He won 83% of the points on his first serve.

Fans could get a peek at the action on Court Philippe Chatrier via two giant screens placed outside the court for spectators.

Before the men's final, a Paris 2024 banner was unfurled out onto the court. Tony Estanguet – the three-time Olympic champion and Co-President of the Paris 2024 campaign – and the taekwondo star Gwladys Epangue, a bronze medallist at Beijing 2008 also took to the floor.


In the men’s doubles…

Lifting the men’s doubles trophy at Roland Garros were best friends Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus. Just two months ago, Venus was a groomsman at Harrison’s wedding. On Sunday in Paris, he made history with the man he says is like a “brother” to him.

Venus became the first player from New Zealand to win a Grand Slam title for 38 years – they defeated Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and American Donald Young 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3.

Remarkably, Roland Garros was the duo’s fifth tournament together but it seems that their emotional bond was the most important factor in claiming the title.

“You always dream of winning a Grand Slam every time you're playing as a kid,” smiled Harrison. “But I know that for Michael and I, it's even more special that we're able to do it alongside each other because he's like a brother. He's been a part of my family. We have been a home away from home for him, considering New Zealand is pretty far away from most tennis training academies.

“He was like a brother growing up. He taught me how to drive, taught me how to do a lot of things – one thing he didn't teach me how to do was talk to girls – but he was someone who’s been there for a lot of memorable moments of my life, including my wedding. To have him with me and for the most special moment of my career is surreal.”

The best friends only decided to pair up three months ago – before that, Harrison had pursued a successful singles career while Venus went into doubles. But when Venus was lacking a partner for the clay court season, he turned to world No.42, Harrison.

Venus, now joins Onny Parun, who won the doubles at Roland Garros in 1974, as New Zealand's only men's Grand Slam winner in the Open era, and the first Kiwi winner since Judy Chaloner, the 1979 Australian Open doubles champion.


In the women’s doubles…

Bethanie Mattek-Sands may have ended her singles tournament in the first week of Roland Garros, but the 32-year-old was back to winning form on Philippe-Chatrier.

Mattek-Sands and her Czech partner, Lucie Safarova, secured their third straight Grand Slam doubles title. They defeated the Australian pair, Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-2 6-1 in the final.

The top seeded pair also won the 2016 US Open and the Australian Open earlier this year. Despite being broken three times in each set, the pair have only dropped one set en route to the final. It is the second championship at the French Open for the top seeded pair – they also won the doubles title in 2015.

Mattek-Sands hit the headlines in the women’s singles tournament after she beat the 2012 Roland Garros semi-finalist Petra Kvitova, 7-6(5) 7-6(5) in the second round.


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