Image Source: Tennis365
After one year of absence, Rafael Nadal, the “King of Clay,” reigned supreme once again in Paris.
As Rafael Nadal raced 6-3 6-3 6-0 to beat Norwegian Casper Ruud in the Roland Garros final to win his 14th French Open title, another grand slam title to bring his total to 22.
The Spaniard dominated the final on Sunday from the get-go, racking up 11 straight games in the second and third sets to claim his 22nd grand slam trophy, two more than arch-rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
With the win, Nadal, 36, became the oldest men’s singles champion at Roland Garros, having won his first French Open championship 17 years ago.
While speaking to the press after the game, Nadal expressed his excitement, citing difficulty articulating his thoughts, especially as he never envisioned seeing himself at the age of 36 still competing at the highest level. Describing how much the win meant to him, Nadal referred to the Rolland Garros court as “the most significant court” of his career.
At the just-concluded French Open tournament, Rafael Nadal moved two notable titles ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to become the player with the most French Open titles and the most grand slams in total.
The final, a classic case of a mentor vs. mentee, saw 23-year-old Ruud, who has been training at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca since 2018 go head to head with his idol and master.
According to Ruud, he had spent his childhood and professional career admiring Nadal and his achievements on the courts and playing his maiden grand slam final against his “master” is the single greatest honor of his career so far.
Later, in an on-court interview, he paid tribute to Nadal, stating, “We all know you’re a champion, and today I had a taste of what it’s like to face you in the final. It’s not easy, and I know I’m not the first victim.”