Clay court king, Nadal wins 14th Roland Garros title 

by Lorraine Williamson
Nadal Roland Garros

TENNIS – For the fourteenth time, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has captured the Coupe des Mousquetaires, the trophy that goes with the title at the Roland Garros tennis tournament in Paris. It is his second grandslam victory this year. 

There is no doubt, the Norwegian player and student of Nadal, Casper Ruud, was a worthy opponent. However, ultimately, he powerless against the king of the gravel who won 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. This was his 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022). Nadal, who turned 36 on Friday, comes to 22 grandslam titles. Furthermore, this extends his lead over Serbian Novak Djokovic (20) and Swiss Roger Federer (20). 

The road to the final 

On his way to the final, Nadal defeated Djokovic and Zverev, two of the top three in the rankings, and rounded it off with his victory over Ruud, one of the most in-form players on the gravel circuit. Nadal asserted his superiority in just 45 minutes to take the first set at Roland Garros. A big difference from his match against Zverev, where he needed more than 90 minutes to finish the set. 

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Unbeatable Nadal 

There seemed no time to lose and Nadal started brightly to try and finish the match as quickly as possible. He had two breakpoints, but Ruud hit back. The Norwegian started to believe in the match and came back briefly to even lead 3-1 in the second set. Nadal quickly recovered and was back in front in the blink of an eye and took the second set, after five games in a row, 6-3.

Ruud’s inexperience took its toll against an opponent ‘of the superlatives’ who proved capable of anything and everything in Paris. Neither the degenerative disease of his left foot, which even seemed to mean the end of his career, nor the low expectations of many after his absence of weeks due to injury have been able to invalidate his idyll with the French clay court. And he will continue for a while, Nadal said in his acceptance speech.

Also read: When Nadal won the Australian Open

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