Rafa Nadal continues to reign supreme at Roland Garros. Two days after his 36th birthday he became the oldest man in the Open era to win the title, but that stat is only one of what he has achieved with this French Open.
Nadal has played near immaculate tennis to defeat Casper Ruud, who was playing his first ever final at the majors 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours 18 minutes. In doing so Nadal won his 14th French Open, no one else in the Open era come close to matching him for the number of titles at ang major, and incredibly this is his 22nd career major. That places him two clear of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, his closest rivals.
“For me have this trophy next to me again means everything,” Nadal said. “So, yeah, have been emotional victories, without a doubt, unexpected in some way. Yeah, very happy, no? Have been a great two weeks, honestly, no? I played since the beginning, improving every day. Finishing playing a good final, no? Super happy and can't thank enough everybody for the support since the first day that I get here, no? Yeah. Very emotional.”
“For sure surprise is surprise. If don't surprise you win 14 Roland Garros or 22 Grand Slam, is because you are super arrogant. Honestly, no, I am not this kind of guy. I never even dream about achieve the things that I achieved. Honestly, no, I never considered myself that good.
“So, I am just honestly keep going step by step, practice by practice, and always with a clear goal to improve something. That's my mindset all during all my tennis career, no? Go on court and every practice with the goal to improve something in my game. I don't understand the sport another way.
“With that philosophy probably and with a lot of help from a great team next to me and family and friends, everybody who support me and help me during all my tennis career have been important for me, no? All the coaches, all the people that have been next to me in some moments, no? I learned from every situation, and not only in a tennis world. I learned a lot in terms of life. So that's all the experiences help me to grow always.”
The only time Ruud had an advantage was early in the second set when he led 3-1 but Nadal then turned on the after burners and raced through eleven consecutive games to close out the championship match.
“It was the first time I have experienced to be in this situation and play a Grand Slam final,” Ruud said. “I don't think it really got to me until I stepped on court today and saw the full stadium and felt like the atmosphere in the crowd. It was a little bit, honestly, a bit tough to find myself too comfortable in the situation in the beginning, but as the match went on, I tended to feel a little bit better, and I could calm down and breathe out a little bit more.
“But it was challenging because you are playing him, the most winning-slam player ever, and on this court in the final it's not too easy. But it was worth a shot, and a good experience, for sure.”
The doubles title was won by Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julian Rojer, they defeated Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 6-7, 7-6, 6-3