Rafael Nadal won his 22nd Grand Slam title.© AFP
Rafael Nadal steamrolled youngster Casper Ruud to win his 14th French Open title at Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday. Nadal beat the 23-year-old 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to take his Grand Slam title tally to 22 – two more than his old rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s win came amid concerns over his playing future as a chronic left foot injury, which has plagued him throughout his career, flared up again. Before Sunday, he had even said that he would rather lose the final in exchange for a new foot.
“I never believed I would be here at 36, being competitive again, playing in the most important court of my career one more time in a final,” Nadal said during the trophy presentation.
He then went on to say that he wants to keep going, allaying fears of a retirement announcement.
“I don’t know what can happen in the future, but I’m going to keep fighting to try to keep going,” Nadal said, drawing applause from the crowd at Court Philippe-Chatrier.
The left foot problem caused Nadal to miss last year’s Wimbledon, US Open and Olympics in Tokyo and he did not return until the build-up to the 2022 Australian Open, which he went on to win for the second time.
His two-hour 18-minute win on Sunday took his record at the tournament to 112 wins against just three losses and also put him halfway to a rare calendar men’s Grand Slam last achieved by Rod Laver in 1969.
With inputs from AFP
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