Status: 05.06.2022 5:29 p.m
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal celebrated his 14th title at the French Open in Paris. In the final he didn’t give the Norwegian Casper Ruud a chance.
After an unparalleled demonstration of power, Rafael Nadal clapped his hands in front of his face and fired his racket away: the clay court king has recaptured his throne in Paris in an inimitable manner and is the French Open winner for the 14th time. The 36-year-old Grand Slam record champion from Spain defeated the Norwegian Casper Ruud in the final on Sunday (05.06.2022) 6: 3, 6: 3, 6: 0 and is thus the oldest title holder in the history of the tournament.
“It’s hardly possible for me to describe my feelings. Winning the tournament again here at the age of 36, which means everything to me, is incredible,” said Nadal: “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I will continue fighting.”
Rafael Nadal wins the French Open
6/5/2022 11:31 p.m
Nadal played in front of Spanish King Felipe VI. and the Norwegian crown prince couple used his great strategic skills on sand and, for the first time in his career, triumphed in the French capital after winning the title at the Australian Open. After 2:19 hours he converted the first match point. “Today I felt what it’s like to play against you here in a final,” said Ruud. “I’m not the first victim. We all hope that you keep going for a while.”
Already won 22 Grand Slam titles
With this, Nadal, who had looked after the top German player so fairly after Alexander Zverev’s injury in the semifinals, extended his lead in the list of Grand Slam winners. He now has 22 titles. His long-time rivals Novak Djokovic (Serbia), who knocked out the Mallorcan in the semifinals last year, and Roger Federer (Switzerland) have won 20 Grand Slam titles so far.
Ruud completely without a chance
At 23, Ruud became the first Norwegian ever to appear in a major final and ultimately had no chance against the clear favourite, who has won every final in Paris.
Nadal and Ruud – it was a final between two well known friends, although they had never faced each other in a tour match before. Ruud has been training at the Rafael Nadal Academy since 2018 and has played a number of training matches with the top star. “It’s the most difficult challenge in tennis to play against him here in the final,” he said before the game: “But I’ll try my best.” That wasn’t enough today.
Because already at the beginning of the match, the athlete from Oslo could feel confirmed in his assessment – the Spanish favorite dictated the action with his strong forehand, repeatedly tried to find his way to the net and pulled away 4:1.
Due to his severe foot problems, Nadal was accompanied by his personal doctor throughout the tournament and keeps questioning his sporting future. This is probably one of the reasons why he was keen to keep the rallies relatively short and closed the first set after 49 minutes.
Ruud creates a break but can’t capitalize
By the end of the first set, however, Ruud had found his way into the match better and he managed a break to make it 3-1 in the second round with a more aggressive, offensive style of play. But Nadal came back furiously after a short creative break, suddenly played his best tennis again and Ruud made an expensive double mistake in the set ball against himself.
Nadal then grabbed another early break early in the third set and was unstoppable in his rush back to the title.
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