Paris – Rafael Nadal reached Sunday in the final of the French Open to win his 14th championship at Roland Garros and 22nd Grand Slam title overall, adding to the two records he already held.

Nadal defeated Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in a victory two days after his 36th birthday, making him the oldest title holder in the history of the tournament on the ground.

Ruud led 3-1 in the second set, a deficit that pushed Nadal to raise the level – he took the last 11 games.

The Spaniard’s first triumph in Paris took place in 2005 at the age of 19. Neither a man nor a woman has ever won a trophy in the singles at any major competition for more than 14 years in Paris. And no one has won more Grand Slam titles than Nadal.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory at the French Open in Paris on June 5, 2022.


He is now two ahead of rivals Roger Federer, who did not play nearly a year after a series of knee surgeries, and Novak Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open in January because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19 and lost to Nadal at Roland Garros.

Given his age and, what is even more worrying, chronic left leg pain, which has been a common problem for years, Nadal has repeatedly stated in recent days that he can never be sure whether every match on Philip Shatrie’s court can be his last.

However, there seems to be little reason to stop, given that he passed four opponents of the French Open, who entered the top 10 (№ 9 Felix Auger-Alessim in the fourth round, № 1 Djokovic in the quarterfinals, №3 Alexander Zverev – who stopped due to a foot injury – in the semifinals and then №8 Ruud).

Nadal improved to 14-0 in the final at Roland Garros and 112-3 overall in his favorite tournament.

Despite all that he has already achieved, Nadal has now done what he has never managed before: he is halfway to the calendar Grand Slam thanks to titles at the Australian Open and French Open in the same season.

Ruud is a 23-year-old Norwegian who competed in the Grand Slam final for the first time. So far, he hasn’t even played in the major quarterfinals.

He considers Nadal his idol. He remembers watching all of Nadal’s past finals in Paris on TV. He trained at the Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca.

They have played countless training sets together, nothing more at stake than to brag. Usually they were won by Nadal, and the other day Ruud joked that it was because he was trying to be a polite guest.

The two never met in a real match until Sunday, when the championship, money, rating points, prestige and part of history were at stake. And Nadal demonstrated, as he often did, why he is called the king of clay – and one of the greatest in the game.

He can now host this latest Coupe des Mousquetaires along with the trophies he collected at Roland Garros in 2005-08, 2010-14 and 2017-20. He has also won the US Open four times and the Australian Open and Wimbledon twice.

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