PARIS (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal paid tribute to his uncle and coach Toni after winning a record-extending 10th French Open title on Sunday.
“Thanks to my uncle, he’s been with me since I was three years old, we’ve been working a lot and without him I would not have these 10 trophies with me,” Nadal said at courtside after being handed the Musketeers Cup by two-time Roland Garros champion Roy Emerson.
Toni Nadal is planning to step down as his nephew’s head coach at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old Rafa hailed the French Open as the most special tournament for him.
Since his debut in 2005, he has lost only two matches on the Parisian red clay and he bagged his 79th victory on Sunday by dismantling Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1 in a one-sided final.
“I try my best in all events but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe,” the champion said on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“For me the nerves, the adrenaline I feel when I play on this court is impossible to compare to any other feeling.
“This is the most important event in my career. It is difficult to compare this tournament to any other one. It will always be in my heart.
“Feeling your support is just unbelievable,” he told the crowd. “Thank you and see you next time.”
Third seed Wawrinka, the 2015 champion who had won all his three previous grand slam finals, was gracious in defeat.
“I would like to congratulate Rafa. Nothing to say about today,” he said at courtside.
“You’re a big example, what you do tennis, in sport is unbelievable,” he told the Spaniard.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon