Rafael Nadal crushes Casper Ruud in straight sets to win 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal has won his 22nd Grand Slam singles title after beating No. 8 seed Casper Ruud on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Nadal showed off all his experience against Ruud, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final, to easily overcome the Norwegian in straight sets. Nadal has now won the French Open 14 times, meaning he has won as many titles at Roland-Garros as Pete Sampras did Grand Slams.
'The legend continues to grow!' - Watch Nadal win 14th French Open title
Rafael Nadal won his 14th French Open title after producing a ruthless 6-3 6-3 6-0 win over Casper Ruud on Sunday afternoon.
Nadal now has 22 Grand Slam singles titles which puts him two clear of his great tennis rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the men's all-time race. It is also the first time Nadal has won the Australian Open and the French Open in the same year.
The Nadal Academy trainee Ruud, playing in his first French Open final, got off to a nightmare start against the Spaniard that he considers his childhood idol.
Nadal's Norwegian apprentice was broken in just the second game of the match. Nadal clinched the advantage thanks to a wonderful cross-court winner off his forehand.
But Nadal followed up with arguably one of his worst ever service games at Roland-Garros. Nadal’s two successive double faults handed Ruud two break points and he converted the second one when the 34-year-old hit a tame forehand unforced error into the net.
A flurry of unforced errors from Ruud in the next game earned Nadal another break point and he moved into a 3-1 lead when the Norwegian’s forehand barely made the net.
Highlights: Nadal brushes aside Ruud to win record-extending 14th French Open title
Ruud battled hard, but Nadal would go on to hold his remaining three service games to clinch the opening set in 48 minutes.
The No. 8 seed was clinging on in the opening game of the second set and conceded three break points, but a cross-court forehand winner at advantage secured an important hold.
With stars such as footballers Robert Lewandowski and Marco Verratti in attendance, Ruud surprised the crowd inside Philippe-Chatrier when he broke the Nadal serve to love to move into a 3-1 lead. At triple break point, Nadal double faulted to hand Ruud the initiative.
But Nadal broke straight back. A tense rally at 30-40 went the way of Nadal after Ruud sliced a forehand into the trams. Nadal consolidated on his service game to love to bring the pair level.
Nadal then broke the Ruud serve to go 4-3 up. On break point, Ruud’s attempted lob with Nadal at the net went just long. Umpire James Keothavong checked the mark to confirm it was out to ensure a third game in a row for Nadal.
Ruud’s unforced error count was rising while a purring Nadal continued to apply the pressure off his fierce forehand. At 5-3 up, Nadal ripped a cross-court winner on Ruud’s serve to earn himself double set point. Ruud saved three set points, but a double fault saw Nadal take the fourth.
Watch emotional moment Nadal stands for Spanish national anthem after 14th title
After a change of clothes ahead of the third set, Nadal continued to be relentless. On Ruud's serve, he punished an unfortunate shot off net cord from his opponent with a brutal forehand winner before a crisp cross-court backhand secured the break and a seventh game in a row.
At that point Ruud was floundering. Nadal consolidated his hold to move into a 3-0 lead before sealing the double break and his ninth game in a row when Ruud volleyed into the net. With Ruud looking resigned, Nadal eased through the fifth game on his serve.
Nadal wrapped up another title win in Paris on the Norwegian's serve. After a fierce cross-court winner handed him two championship points, Nadal converted the second with a backhand winner down the line to seal a historic achievement.
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