Rafael Nadal claimed the 14th Roland Garros title eight days ago, extending his Parisian dominance and writing the record books. Nadal claimed the 22nd Major title and moved two clear of his greatest rivals, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Roger texted Rafa after the final to congratulate him, but he could not watch the match. After passing three challenging obstacles, Nadal was the favorite in the title match against the first-time Major finalist Casper Ruud. The Norwegian used a favorable draw to secure his career-best result at Majors, but it was not enough to carry him over the top against the king of clay. Rafa beat Casper 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 18 minutes, remaining perfect in Paris and delivering the 14th title from 18 trips to his favorite Major! It was not a memorable final by any means, but Nadal will remember it for a long time after everything he had to endure during the fortnight.
Roger Federer did not watch Rafael Nadal’s conquest of 22nd Major title.
The Spaniard fired 37 winners and 18 unforced errors and controlled the scoreboard from start to finish. Ruud’s backhand could not deal with the rival’s spin, and he failed to move Nadal away from his comfort zone. In the end, it was one of the most one-sided Roland Garros finals in the Open era. They stayed neck and neck in the shortest range up to four strokes, and Nadal forged the victory in the more advanced exchanges. The Spaniard was especially impressive in those rallies with five or six shots, building a 24-6 lead and marching over the finish line with a bagel in set number three.
They traded early breaks in the opener, and Nadal grabbed another at 2-1 to forge his second lead. Servers had no troubles in the following games, and Rafa closed the set with a service winner at 5-3 for a boost. Ruud broke at love in the second set’s fourth game following Nadal’s errors and built a 3-1 advantage. Rafa shifted into a higher gear from there and rattled off 11 consecutive games to topple the young rival and race towards the finish line. The Spaniard produced a bagel in the third set and sealed the deal with a backhand down the line winner for his 14th Roland Garros trophy and a massive celebration.
“I did not watch the final; I watched Nadal’s quarter-final against Djokovic a bit before I went to sleep,” Roger Federer said.