The Spaniard dominated the clay court winning the final 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. As his 15th career Grand Slam, it also places him second on the all-time list for men and keeps him within sight of first place, his long-time rival Roger Federer.
American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova claimed their third consecutive grand slam doubles title with a convincing 6-2 6-1 victory over Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.
Nadal is no longer the 19-year-old who won the French Open in his debut in 2005, wearing long white pirate shorts, his flowing locks wrapped by a white headband, his sleeveless shirt revealing bulging biceps. It was his 18th crown.
It marked a stirring return to the top for Nadal in his favourite event and on his favorite surface: Over his career, he is now 79-2 at the French Open and 102-2 in all best-of-five-set matches on clay. Nadal hadn't dropped a set the entire tournament, and he continued that ideal streak on Sunday.
"I am not the right one to say, but to play 10 finals here is something hard. This is the most important event in my career".
"But I will need few days to really see that, because it's tough to describe the feeling of losing a Grand Slam final".
35 - Nadal averaged just five games lost in his seven matches this year, three more than Bjorn Borg's record set in 1978.
"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 took the set in the ninth game, just moments after Wawrinka had destroyed a racket in utter frustration.
But he hasn't played in one since 2014, because he lost to Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals, then withdrew from the tournament before the third round a year ago due to an injured left wrist. Wawrinka was denied his second French Open title after winning the tournament in 2015.
Wawrinka almost scored an early break on Nadal's second service game.
"There is no one in the world who can make you feel more inadequate than Rafa Nadal on this court", said NBC's Mary Carillo, describing Nadal's dominance. This time, he was a little more composed.
The men's final at the French Open is underway. He returned, though, to win two Grand Slams - a feat he no doubt hopes he can repeat this year. However, in the sixth game of the set, Nadal won the break that he had been threatening for a while when Wawrinka sliced a backhand into the net. A victor of 73 career singles titles and 53 on clay, his current French Open record stands at a formidable 79-2.
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