Rafael Nadal is officially back.
Three years after winning his last Grand Slam tournament, Nadal has reached the top of the podium again, as the the Spanish star won the 2017 French Open over the weekend.
Nadal’s last major championship title was in 2014—at the French Open, naturally—and, at 31 years old, wizened tennis watchers wondered if Nadal’s best days were behind him. Nadal put that possibility to bed in straight sets over Stan Wawrinka, winning his 10th career French Open title, a feat no other male tennis player has accomplished in the history of the sport.
After playing extremely well to start 2017, it likely wouldn’t shock anyone if Nadal made it to another final before the season ends.
Over his career, Nadal has proven himself as one of the fittest—and strongest—tennis players on tour. His fierce, heavy-hitting, and aggressive style of play wreaks havoc on his body, but it also makes Nadal the clay-court force that he is. Nadal plays this way because he’s at his best when he’s flinging his racket all over the court, swatting back unbelievable shots that only a few other players in the world can make. (See also: 21 nearly impossible shots that somehow got over the net.)
“My flexibility routine is very important,” Nadal previously told Men’s Fitness. “I do [it] every day. I have my own physio[therapist], and he stretches me each day. This is crucial for me. The stretching is very important, and to have good conditioning does help a lot. Clearly getting the right rest is also important. Sometimes it is too short of a time and I really can’t recover fast enough. But that happens to all of us.”
Nadal is back—and he’s not going anywhere.
Here are five amazing things you need to know about Rafa’s 2017 French Open win.
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