Rafael Nadal won his 22nd Grand Slam title.© AFP
Rafael Nadal fired up young Casper Ruud to win his 14th French Open title on Sunday at Court Philippe-Chatrier. Nadal defeated the 23-year-old 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to take his Grand Slam title to 22 – two more than his longtime rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s win came amid concerns about his playing future when a chronic left foot injury that plagued him throughout his career flared up again. He had even said before Sunday that he would rather lose the final in exchange for a new foot.
“I never thought I would be here at 36, be competitive again and play in a final on the most important course of my career,” Nadal said at the trophy presentation.
He went on to say that he wants to continue, easing fears of an announcement of his retirement.
“I don’t know what can happen in the future, but I keep fighting to keep going,” said Nadal, who was applauded by the crowd at Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Due to the problem with his left foot, Nadal missed Wimbledon, the US Open and the Tokyo Olympics last year and did not return until the 2022 Australian Open, which he won for the second time.
His two hours and 18 minutes win on Sunday lifted his record at the tournament to 112 wins against just three losses and also brought him halfway to a rare men’s Grand Slam calendar last achieved by Rod Laver in 1969.
With inputs from AFP
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