Today, Rafael Nadal emerged triumphant at the French Open for a historic 14th time, defeating the 23-year-old Norwegian player Casper Ruud in straight sets, 6-3 6-3 6-0. In doing so, Nadal not only breaks his own record number of Grand Slam wins in the men’s singles—taking his total tally up to 22—but he also surpasses his own record at Roland Garros, where he last took home the top prize in 2020.
While Nadal was the favorite to win the Musketeers’ Cup today, the efficiency and ease with which he did so only solidified his status as the French Open’s greatest titan. Nadal asserted his dominance from the very beginning, breaking Ruud in just the second game, and despite a few bumps in the road, by the time the second set arrived, Nadal was at the height of his powers. A stunning third set that took just 29 minutes saw Nadal relentlessly drive Ruud back, taking the championship on the Norwegian’s serve with a spectacular backhand winner.
“Merci, merci beaucoup,” said Nadal to an uproarious response from the crowd after the match. “It is completely amazing, the things that are happening this year. I [want to] thank you very, very much for all the things you are doing with me—and did—over all of the years. Without you, none of this would be possible. For me personally, it is very tough to describe the feelings that I have. I never believed I would be here at 36 being competitive [for] one more final. I don’t know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try to keep going, so thank you!”