Rafael Nadal had an easy walk as he defeated Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0 in the French Open final for his 14th championship at Roland Garros and 22nd grand slam title overall.
Nadal’s victory came two days after his 36th birthday and made him the oldest title winner in the history of the clay-court tournament.
Ruud led 3-1 in Sunday’s second set, a deficit that spurred Nadal to raise his level as he took the last 11 games.
The Spaniard’s first triumph in Paris came in 2005 at age 19. No man nor woman has ever won the singles trophy at any major event more than his 14 in Paris – and no man has won more grand slam titles than Nadal.
He now is two ahead of rivals Roger Federer, who hasn’t played in almost a year after a series of knee operations, and Novak Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open in January because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and lost to Nadal at Roland Garros.
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Given his age, and, of more concern, the chronic pain in his left foot that has been an off-and-on problem for years, Nadal has said repeatedly in recent days that he can never be sure whether each match at Court Philippe Chatrier might be his last.
Doesn’t really seem much reason to quit now, though, considering that he navigated his way past four French Open opponents ranked in the top 10.
His victims have been No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round, No. 1 Djokovic in the quarters, No. 3 Alexander Zverev – who stopped because of a foot injury – in the semis, and then No. 8 Ruud.
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