Number 22 brings a sense of déjà vu from Nadal

SUPERSTAR Rafael Nadal is back on top of the clay court podium, after defeating Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to take his 14th French Open crown and 22nd Grand Slam Title.

In his first Grand Slam final, Ruud showed patches of resistance but was ultimately no match for Nadal.

Nadal jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening set before a double fault from Nadal saw Ruud jump at the chance and pinch one back.

Unfortunately for Ruud, he could not make the most of the break back, as Nadal won the next two before Ruud finally held serve.

Ruud won only one more game for the rest of the set though as Nadal went on to win the set.

Ruud actually went a break up early in the second set to hold a 3-1 lead, but Nadal then wrestled back control. Nadal then won the next five games in a row to take the set.

As much as Ruud had displayed patches of resistance in the first two sets, he was absolutely no match for Nadal in the third, as Nadal bagelled the set to take the match and the tournament.

Nadal served the only ace of the match, but served three times as many double faults as Ruud did.

Both men had the same first serve percentage (64%) but Nadal had the higher percentage of wins on both first serve (82% to 53%) and second serve (45% to 31%).

Nadal hit more then double the number of winners Ruud did, and also finished with less forced (21 to 23) and unforced errors (18 to 26) then his Norwegian opponent.

Speaking post match, Nadal spoke of how much the win meant to him.

“It means a lot to me, it means everything. It means a lot of energy to try to keep going. I don’t know what can happen in the future but I’m going to keep fighting to try to keep going” Nadal said.

“For me personally, it’s very difficult to describe the feelings that I have. It’s something that I’ve for sure never believed being here at 36, being competitive again playing on the most important court of my career one more time in a final.

Of the French Open, Nadal said “Without a doubt for me and I think for a lot of people who love the history of this sport, this is the best tournament of the world… You make me feel like home.”

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