Rafael Nadal (ATP 5) did it! The Spaniard claimed his 14th Roland-Garros title, 22nd at a Grand Slam, 2 days after his 36th birthday, easily defeating Casper Ruud (ATP 8) in the final 6-3, 6-3, 6-6. 0. He now has two more big titles on his list than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
This 14th Parisian coronation is almost unreal. On the one hand, the left-hander from Manacor had to be content with minimal preparation on clay. After suffering a fractured rib at Indian Wells in March, he had indeed sustained his chronic left foot injury in Rome in mid-May, where he was playing his second tournament of the season on Ocher.
On the other hand, his 14th triumph at the Porte d’Auteuil makes the footsteps of former world No. 1 Pete Sampras seem almost anachronistic. The American, who held the record for major titles until 2009, had actually won 14 in total! The feat is incredible.
Ruud had no weapons
Of course Rafael Nadal is like a fish in water at Roland-Garros. A lifelong favorite in a tournament where he’s won 112 of the 115 games he’s played, he’s still approaching it with confidence, even with little preparation. But its resilience and resilience deserve respect.
Impressive in the quarterfinals against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal was far from developing at his best level against both Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud, who paid dearly for his lack of relaxation. But he knew how to do violence to himself.
Rafael Nadal didn’t flinch to win his 14th Roland-Garros title. [Michel Euler – AP]
Also nervous at the start of this final, Rafael Nadal rarely wowed the crowd with brilliant shots. Only Casper Ruud didn’t have the weapons to really hinder his idol. The Norwegian, who is limited on his backhand, has also made too many mistakes to hope for improvement.
A late break in the 2nd set
However, Casper Ruud had his chance in a second set, which Rafael Nadal began tentatively. The two-time winner of the Geneva Open thus logically resulted in a 3:1 serve. But he could not confirm this break. Worse, he gave up his next 3 service games to offer his opponent the 2nd set. With a 2-set lead, Rafael Nadal could see it coming. The more composed Mallorquin quickly sought sanctuary in the 3rd round, signing a 1st break from the 2nd game thanks to a forehand that finally punched. So he flew to victory, acquiring a winning backhand after 2h18′ of play.
Garcia and Mladenovic win doubles
The French Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won the Roland Garros doubles tournament for the second time after 2016 against the Americans Coco Gauff, already a singles finalist the day before, and Jessica Pegula, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Garcia and Mladenovic, who had not played doubles together at the circuit since 2017, reformed their 2019 Fed Cup-winning pair earlier this year for the Australian Open (eliminated in the 2nd round).
ATP Stuttgart: Stricker overcomes the qualifying trap
Dominic Stricker (ATP 199) definitely feels comfortable on the lawn in Stuttgart. Quarter-finalist last year, the 19-year-old from Bern made it out of the qualification this time. The 2020 Roland Garros Junior Champion won the second and final qualifying round 6-4, 6-3 ahead of Germany’s Mats Moraing (ATP 116). Dominic Stricker meets the American Maxime Cressy (ATP 62) in the first round of the main draw. If he wins against the 8th finalist of the last Australian Open, he meets the world number 4 in the second round. Stefanos Tsitsipas.
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