Fifth seed Rafael Nadal claimed his 14th French Open title after blowing Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud to bits in straight sets in the final at the Stade Roland Garros.
36-year-old Nadal was on the hunt for a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam title and 14th title in Paris. The Spaniard reached the final courtesy of retirement from his opponent in the semifinals, Alexander Zverev, following an ankle ligament injury. His opponent, Ruud, eased past veteran Marin Cilic to reach his maiden Grand Slam final.
The weight of the occasion seemed to get to Ruud as he struggled to keep up with Nadal on the court and was consequently defeated in straight sets in one of the biggest mismatches in a Grand Slam final seen in a while. Nadal eased to a 6-3 6-3 6-0 win over the 23-year-old, closing out the match by winning 11 games in a row. He was 3-1 down in the second set when he found an extra gear to blow his opponent away.
Rafael Nadal has now become the oldest winner of the French Open ever and is now second on the list of Grand Slam winners in the Open Era with 22 titles, one shy of the 23 won by Serena Williams. It was a fitting comeback for the Spaniard, who kept his 100% record in French Open finals after losing to Novak Djokovic in last year’s semifinal. The great announced that he hoped to go on despite the horrible foot injury that has plagued him for so long, so much that he had to numb the foot completely to be able to play in Paris.