Sports

Nadal brushes Ruud, wins 14th French Open title

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

World number 5 Rafael Nadal brushes off Casper Ruud in the French Open final to win his fourteenth title in Roland Garros yesterday at Court Philippe Chatrier.

Nadal, 36, extraordinary in the contest, made a mess of Ruud to stamp his superiority in the game after a 6-3,6-3,6-0 win to lift his second Grand Slam title following the victory at the Australian Open in 2022.

The Spaniard, 36, winning 22 Grand Slam titles tallied the record of Steffi Graf but one short to equal the record of Serena Williams.

Despite the player suffering from a chronic foot injury that has speculatively preempted fans to say he would be hanging his racket soon, Nadal seamlessly dismantled eight seed Ruud in their first-ever contest to record two more Grand Slams above the top seed, Novak Djokovic.

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“For me personally, it is very difficult to describe the feelings that I have,” Nadal said in his acceptance speech.

“It’s something that I never believed, that I would be here at 36, being competitive again, playing on the most important court of my career one more time in a final.

“It means everything to me. It means a lot of energy to try to keep going. I just want to say ‘merci, merci beaucoup’.

“I don’t know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try to keep going,” he stated.

While congratulating Nadal, Ruud conceding defeat underlined that this is his finest time and the 14th time for the 36-year-old champion.

“This is the first time for me so let’s see how I do. The first and most important thing is to congratulate Rafa,” Ruud said.

“It’s your 14th time, 22nd all round in Grand Slams. We all know what a champion you are.

“Today I got to feel how it is to play against you in a final. It’s not easy and I’m not the first victim. I know there have been many before,” the Norwegian admitted.

Ruud got the closet shot at the Grand Slam title in 2022. The ATP 6th ranked player with 6 singles career titles, was edged out in the first round on two occasions in 2019 and 2021 at Wimbledon. In between that, he was defeated in the third round in the 2020 US Open where Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev to win the title.

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