Rafael Nadal wins the 14th Roland Garros: 22th career Slam!

The one against Casper Ruud turns out to be a very long walkway to success for the very Spanish champion

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rafael Nadal wins the 14th Roland Garros: 22th career Slam!

Rafael Nadal rewrite history again, at the Roland Garros 2022. The one against Casper Ruud turns out to be a very long walkway to success for the very Spanish champion, the twenty-second at the Grand Slam level. We could rely on numbers, as cold as they are authentic.

Nadal, who blew out thirty-six candles a handful of days ago, has no idea what it means to accept the passage of time, to give up, to recognize limits. What does it mean to lose on the red brick of Bois de Boulogne or more generally what it means to lose.

He needed five sets to break Felix Auger Aliassime's resistance, he took revenge on Novak Djokovic twelve months after the defeat in the semifinals, he took advantage of Alexander Zverev's retirement at the foot of the final.

The one with Ruud, at the same time, turned out to be a very long walkway of honor: it leaves little room for interpretations in reality the 6-3 6-3 6-0 final. Nadal adds the twenty-second pearl to the series of Slam successes, the fourteenth at Roland Garros, makes 2/2 at the second useful opportunity (he had lost in Paris in 2009 after the success at the Australian Open) and also becomes the oldest winner in Paris in front of Andres Gimeno.

The debate about who is the greatest of all is perhaps finally coming to an end. Before the usual photo near the net, Ruud has eyes split with tension and a strange grin tattooed on his face. The Norwegian tennis player, son in some way of the Spanish champion's academy, on the day of the most important match of all, becomes aware of having on the opposite side of the net not one stronger, but the strongest.

Consistency-pressing tennis does not bear fruit. Also because it cannot be neither constant nor heavy. Nadal easily holds the serve at the start and goes on to 15-40 in the immediately following game. Ruud simultaneously cancels the first break point of the match, launches into the net with a good project at 30-40, but cannot find the volley on a very precise backhand pass by the Spaniard.

Nadal invents a game with two double fouls and two rather gross errors in the setting phase, puts Ruud back on track for a few minutes, but does not apply particular changes to the script. The difficulties for the Spaniard in the first set go off in conjunction with the second round of response.

Nadal puts the arrow back, manages the matter from the baseline in an extraordinarily orderly manner and with almost 90% of the points and closes the first set. Ruud struggles to keep up with the pace set by Nadal, who still wastes a handful of breakpoints at the start and slightly decreases his performance in managing the baseline points.

Needless to say, he makes himself more vulnerable even with the joke available and begins to concede something on the left diagonal. The last two rounds of serving turn out to be completely circumstantial, with Nadal breaking the balance even before returning on serve.

Ruud practically does not even have time to move the zero from the game box during the third set. From 3-1, in fact, he loses the following eleven games and does not find sufficiently valid weapons to make the passive acceptable.

All this is seasoned by a decidedly more relaxed and precise Nadal, who at the threshold of two hours and twenty of play lies down on the land of Philippe Chatrier for the fourteenth time in his career.

Rafael Nadal Roland Garros Casper Ruud
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