Some stars passed on playing in the French Open, while others weren't allowed in. You know all their names. What matters is what took place inside and outside the lines in Paris. On the heels of a fairly predictable and alternately off-the-chain major event, here are the thoroughly vetted, unequivocal–or entirely subjective–best and worst moments from the 2017 French Open.
Stan (Mostly) Remains the Man
In the words of the musical Chicago … “He had it coming.” And he knew it. Not because he did anything wrong, by any means, but Stan Wawrinka became the seventh and final human barrier to Rafael Nadal claiming his record 10th major title at a single event.
Wawrinka on Nadal: 'I think to play Rafa on clay in— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) June 9, 2017
French Open in a final is probably the biggest
challenge you can have in tennis'
The Mallorcan rammed his way through that final, tuning the so-called Stanimal, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. That’s not to detract, though, from the run that Wawrinka, the 2014 French Open champ, had over two weeks – largely storming through the field and surviving a five-set exhaustion-fest against Andy Murray in the semifinals. He simply didn’t have the legs in the championship contest.
Stan Wawrinka is a Hall of Fame player. And Nadal essentially played three sets of solitaire today...— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) June 11, 2017
Never mind "what happens when the immovable object meets the unstoppable force?" ...What happens when they are one and the same? #RG17— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) June 11, 2017
We know this much is true: Wawrinka's method for breaking racquets when he’s fed up–with his play, with his foe, with the chair umpire, with The Situation at Hand–remains the most elegant in pro tennis. (Not that the standard is so high.)
Wimbledon impends, and with it, the association between Wawrinka and Paul Annacone, formerly on the staff of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. Those are grass-court bona fides you can’t get anywhere else, and Wawrinka could use a statement win in Wimbledon’s week 2 to solidify that partnership. First things first, he needs to get there.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.