Rafael Nadal has already done it. The 36-year-old Spaniard won the French Open for the 14th time. The question now arises: will Nadal return to Paris?
After his 14th win at the French Open, Rafael Nadal dropped his racket in complete denial and looked at his team in the stands.
Two days after his 36th birthday, the Spanish clay court king won the final in Paris against Norway’s Casper Ruud 6:3, 6:3, 6:0 and thus celebrated the 22nd Grand Slam title of his brilliant tennis career. It remains to be seen how many more people will come because of his chronic foot problems.
Also fight pain
In mid-May, after the tournament’s knockout round in Rome, Nadal himself questioned the participation in Paris. The pain was very strong. However, thanks to the daily care of a personal doctor in the French capital, Nadal is back in very good shape. How long he wants and can do it is uncertain.
Immediately after the next victory in his living room with a game of tennis at Stade Roland Garros, Nadal’s pure joy reigned. After he converted his second match point after 2:18 hours, the audience celebrated him with long applause.
As soon as Nadal entered the court Philippe Chatrier just after 3pm, the spectators rose from their seats and greeted Habibie with deafening applause. Before the match, rumors spread that it might be the Spaniard’s last match in his glorious career. It looked as if everyone in Paris wanted to try and stop Nadal from lovingly unconfirmed plans. The obligatory introduction of Nadal by stadium announcer Mark Morey lasted longer than usual this time, repeatedly interrupting him with applause from the audience.
Nadal started well in front of Spanish King Felipe and Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and immediately took the serve from the Norwegian. Although Rudd, who trained at Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca for four years, also managed to take a break after that, but Nadal responded with another break that he did not give up after that. After 48 minutes he got the first set.
Rod without a chance
The atmosphere in the stadium before the match was crowded, but the final match was poor. Rudd was nervous and made a lot of minor errors, Nadal was also far from his best, but he still dominated the game on his favorite pitch with ease.
In the semi-finals against Alexander Zverev, Nadal faced an even greater challenge until the German Olympic champion had to give up his injury. With multiple ligament tears, Zverev will be out for a long time. How long will be determined by further investigations on Monday in Germany.
In the second set, Rudd initially improved, but the overall level is now a little better. But it was still a far cry from Nadal’s other finals in Paris. Mallorquin initially backed off with a break, but Rudd was unable to use the momentum. On the contrary: Nadal played five games in a row and led 2-0 after 1:42 hours.
Rudd’s faith in emotion finally faded in his first Grand Slam final. Nadal got the third set in quick succession – and the rest was pure joy. (dpa)