Rafael Nadal pulled away to beat Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 within the French Open last on Sunday for his 14th championship at Roland Garros and twenty second Grand Slam title total, including to 2 data he already owned.
Nadal’s victory got here two days after his thirty sixth birthday, making him the oldest title winner within the historical past of the clay-court event.
Ruud led 3-1 within the second set, a deficit that spurred Nadal to lift his degree — he took the final 11 video games.
Nadal performed so crisply and cleanly, accumulating greater than twice as many winners as Ruud, 37 to 16. Nadal additionally dedicated fewer unforced errors, making simply 16 to Ruud’s 26.
When it ended with a down-the-line backhand from Nadal, he chucked his racket to the purple clay he loves a lot and lined his face with the taped-up fingers on each of his palms.
The Spaniard’s first triumph in Paris got here in 2005 at age 19. No man or girl ever has received the singles trophy at any main occasion greater than his 14 in Paris, and no man has received extra Grand Slam titles than Nadal.
He’s two forward of rivals Roger Federer, who has not performed in nearly a 12 months after a sequence of knee operations, and Novak Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open in January as a result of he’s not vaccinated towards COVID-19 and misplaced to Nadal at Roland Garros.
Given his age, and, of extra concern, the continual ache in his left foot that has been an off-and-on downside for years, Nadal has mentioned repeatedly in latest days that he can by no means ensure whether or not every match at Courtroom Philippe Chatrier is perhaps his final.
Though he vowed to “maintain preventing to maintain going,” Nadal mentioned that he won’t proceed taking part in except a everlasting answer to his foot ache was not discovered.
“As I mentioned earlier than, beneath the present circumstances, I can’t and I don’t wish to proceed taking part in,” mentioned the Spanish champion at a press convention after the match, explaining that in the course of the French Open he had undergone “a number of injections earlier than every match” to numb his painful nerves.
However judging by the standard of his sport proper now, Nadal does not likely appear to have many causes to stop, contemplating that he navigated his well past 4 French Open opponents ranked within the high 10.
On his path to the coveted title, Nadal beat No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime within the fourth spherical, No. 1 Djokovic within the quarterfinals, No. 3 Alexander Zverev — who stopped due to a foot damage — within the semifinals, after which No. 8 Ruud.
Nadal improved to 14-0 within the finals at Roland Garros and 112-3 total at his favorite event.
Two Grand Slams down, two to go
For all that he has achieved already, Nadal now has finished one thing he by no means managed beforehand: He’s midway to a calendar-year Grand Slam because of titles on the Australian Open and French Open in the identical season.
Ruud is a 23-year-old from Norway who was collaborating in a Grand Slam last for the primary time.
He had by no means even performed in a significant quarterfinal till now, however he gave the impression to be in a constructive temper after the finals, jokingly telling Nadal that he “wasn’t his first sufferer”.
Ruud, who considers Nadal his idol, and has skilled at his tennis academy in Mallorca, admits to having watched all of Nadal’s previous finals in Paris on TV.
The 2 have performed numerous observe units collectively there with nothing extra at stake than bragging rights. Nadal often received these, and Ruud joked the opposite day that was as a result of he was attempting to be a well mannered visitor.
The 2 had by no means met in an actual match till Sunday, when a championship, cash, rating factors, status and a bit of historical past have been on the road.
And Nadal demonstrated, as he has so usually, why he is called the King of Clay — and among the many sport’s best ever.
He can now place this newest Coupe des Mousquetaires alongside the trophies he gathered at Roland Garros from 2005-08, 2010-14 and 2017-20.
He has additionally received the US Open 4 instances and the Australian Open and Wimbledon twice every.