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Five things we learned on Day 15 of Roland Garros - Rafael Nadal reigns again in Paris
They came in their thousands and filled the centre court expecting a titanic struggle. What the spectators saw was a Nadal masterclass.
1. The crowds come day two
There might be something in this 3pm start. The centre court was packed. Again. Supporters fanned themselves in the blazing sunshine. There were flurries of action in the stands to accompany the combat below in the dirt between the two thirtysomethings Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal.
2. Young stars? You're kidding me
Rafael Nadal, 31, Stan Wawrinka 32, contest a final at the 2017 French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the year. At the first in Australia in Janaury? Roger Federer 35 v Rafael Nadal 30. Lads it’s time to shift the old chaps aside.
3. The presidential lodge knew
The great and the good were packed into the posh box for the start of the men’s singles showdown between Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. But after Nadal had pocketed the first set 6-2, half of the people in the seats cleared out. They probably knew the jig was up for Stan.
4 Rafael Nadal can’t parlez-vous under pressure
It’s about the only thing he couldn’t do on centre court on day 15 such was his dominance. Nadal has been addressing the crowds in a peu de français after les matchs. And he’s made a decent fist of it. He managed to thank the centre court spectators for their support during the match against Stan Wawrinka but eventually conceded: “Mon français est mal, (My French is bad) – it should be "est mauvais" - adding in English: "It is even worse when I am emotional.” And boy was he after collecting a record 10th men’s singles title.
5. WHAM! BLAM! Thank you Stan
Since the review is a great believer in pleasing symmetry and self-referential unions, it seems appropriate to end the daily review with another reference to the 1960s TV series Batman – especially since Batman - the actor Adam West - died just the other day. Many commentators thought Stan Wawrinka would give Rafael Nadal the runaround. But we didn’t get the surprise. Stan got a big BIFF! from Nadal. In fact the leftfield result was the victory of Jelena Ostapenko in the women’s final where the three sets lasted one hour and 59 minutes, eight minutes less than the three set men’s final. KAPOW!