HomeSportsRafael Nadal wins the 14th French Open title with a straight-set victory...

Rafael Nadal wins the 14th French Open title with a straight-set victory against Casper Ruud

Rafael Nadal claimed a record 14 titles in the open french as he defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0.

The Spaniard dominated Sunday’s final and won 11 straight games in the second and third sets to close out his 22nd Grand Slam title, two ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time men’s list.

The victory also means the 36-year-old Nadal, who won his first French Open title 17 years ago, becomes the oldest men’s singles champion at Roland Garros.

“For me personally, it’s very difficult to describe the feelings I have,” Nadal said in his on-court interview after the match. “It’s something I sure never thought I’d be here at 36 years old, being competitive again, playing on the biggest court of my career one more final, it means a lot to me.”

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It was a case of master versus apprentice at Roland Garros on Sunday with Ruud, who has trained at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca since 2018 and looked up to Nadal as he progressed through the tennis ranks, appearing in his first Grand Slam final.

But the 23-year-old was outclassed by Nadal in what was the first time the two had met.

Having led 3-1 at the start of the second set, Ruud saw the competition slipping away from him and failed to record a game in the final set.

He later paid tribute to Nadal, saying in his on-court interview: “We all know what a champion you are and today I could feel what it’s like to play against you in the final. It’s not easy and I’m not the first victim, I know there have been many before”.

Nadal was beaten by Djokovic in last year’s French Open semi-finals, ending a run of four consecutive titles, but he defeated his rival in the quarters this year before beating Alexander Zverev in the semis.

The victory against Ruud backs up the Australian Open title he won in January, the first time in his career that Nadal has won the first two Grand Slams in the calendar year.

Nadal and Ruud pose after Sunday's match.

He got off to a fast start in Sunday’s final and took a commanding 4-1 lead in the first set after twice breaking Ruud’s serve.

Nadal’s tactic of targeting Ruud’s backhand proved effective, but he faltered at the start of the second set, first when he wasted break points in the first game, then when he lost serve at love in the fourth game.

However, any momentum Ruud was able to gain was short-lived as the afternoon unraveled.

Nadal, who was hampered by an ongoing foot injury in the build-up to the tournament, seemed to move around the court well throughout the match and began to exert his dominance to take the next five games in the second set.

Then, in the third set, which lasted just 30 minutes, Ruud could barely look inside.

A resounding backhand down the line from Nadal completed the victory, and a historic 14th title at Roland Garros.

But will it be the last?

“I don’t know what can happen in the future, but I will keep fighting to try to move forward,” Nadal told the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier to enthusiastic applause.

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