Nadal was forced to pull out of last year's French Open - the tournament he cherishes most - after potential career-threatening damage to his left wrist tendons. "And second, all the effort I have been doing last few weeks to get to my best level again, to get some confidence again, and to win all those matches, some tough matches".
A 10th singles title at the clay-court Grand Slam represents a professional era record - no player has won more singles titles at the same major event as the 31-year-old. I try to play my best at all events.
But the 32-year-old, the oldest Roland Garros finalist in 44 years, had no answers as Nadal eclipsed Pete Sampras on the all-time list of major champions with 15 titles.
He entered the final on an 11-match winning streak following his title in Geneva.
Wawrinka was in the match for all five games, as the pair exchanged holds before Nadal's unmatched power saw him earn his first break of the contest for 4-2 in the opener. "That's for sure. But not only here", said Wawrinka, who lost for the first time in four Grand Slam finals.
The Spaniard won the title for the loss of just 35 games throughout the competition. "You are a great example and it's always been an honor to play against you", said Wawrinka.
He has enjoyed plenty of them at the French Open, but never has he been more dominant than he was this time around. And I miss playing well at Wimbledon.
Nadal grasped his second match point as he led 5-1, 40-30 in the third set to finish his flawless fortnight performance at Roland Garros. "In this final, to win the Decima is very, very special".
Playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final, he triumphed in Paris without dropping a set for a third time.
But there is no doubt that he is a big match player. They did let out a burst of claps and roars in the second set on one particularly exquisite display: Nadal sprinted to his left to chase Wawrinka's cross-court backhand wide of the doubles alley and whipped a forehand that curved around the net post and landed near a line for a victor.
But Nadal's 10th title at Roland Garros is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the incredible nature of his success.
A matter of minutes later Wawrinka wafted a forehand long to hand Nadal a second break of serve and the opening set. You play final of Grand Slam, you don't want to lose.
"When you hesitate on how to play a ball, your legs move later and it's too late".
Should he pull the trigger early or trade blows with the best clay-court player of all time?