Nadal has dropped only 29 games to reach the final - surpassing his previous best of 35 in 2012 and only two more than Bjorn Borg's record set in 1978.Swedish great Borg might still hold that mark but Nadal has long since left the six-times French Open champion behind in the Roland Garros record books.
He edged a fourth-set tie-break to force a decider and used that momentum to race into a 5-0 lead, a position from which Murray had no hope of recovering as Wawrinka, who has never lost a grand slam final, set up a showpiece with either nine-time champion Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem.
Wawrinka took out Andy Murray in a 4-hour, 34-minute marathon Friday to reach the French Open final.
He was 6-2, 2-0 up on Pablo Carreno Busta when his Spanish compatriot quit with an abdominal injury. They have played six times on clay court and Nadal has won five, with his latest victory coming in 2016 Monte Carlo Masters.
But make no mistake: Wawrinka does not discourage easily.
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Nadal wins his first grand slam title in three years. He capped it, appropriately, with a backhand down the line, his 87th victor of the day, 51 more than Murray accumulated.
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal is facing sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem, the only man to beat the Spaniard on clay this season.
Wawrinka made the first move with a break for 5-3, seizing on a tentative approach and flashing a cross-court victor past the despairing lunge of Murray at the net.
And he would live to regret it as Murray combined defensive and offensive lobs to move 7-6 in front and then took the set when Wawrinka dumped a return in the net.
It was a far cry from Nishikori's five-set win against Murray in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open, where he had trailed 2-1 in sets before turning the tables on Murray. It is worthy of note also that he has won every French Open final he has played.
Wawrinka hadn't dropped a single set enroute to the the semifinal at the Philippe-Chatrier court, while Murray had been stretched to four sets in the Round one and two.
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He said he knew all along the first tech wasn't on him. "But I thought I heard the PA announcer say it was on Draymond". Draymond on crowd: "I don't pay that much attention to anybody in Cleveland, honestly".
Wawrinka is the oldest man in a French Open title match since 1973.
Asked about the prospect of a 10th title, he said: "I think I don't make more history, it's enough".
"You expect him to hit a lot of balls, for sure". "When you enter in a Grand Slam against him, you have to accept that".
Wawrinka could have won the match in three sets and the resilience he showed to bounce back from losing the first and third was just as impressive as his play.
"I don't care about the games I lost or not, or sets or this kind of thing", he said.
The two contrasting styles were nicely summed up in the opening exchanges, with Wawrinka hitting six winners and six unforced errors off the opening three games and Murray not making any mistakes for just one victor in the same period - as the Swiss' risk-and-reward approach battled with Murray's more conservative and defensive outlook.
USGA allows alternates to play practice rounds at Erin Hills
Phil Mickelson could still feature at next week's US Open, despite saying he would miss the event at Erin Hills. Rounding out the group is Australia's former world number one Jason Day, victor of the 2015 PGA Championship.
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