Rafael Nadal secured a 14th French Open and record-lengthening 22nd Grand Slam title with a straight-sets defeat of Casper Ruud to become the oldest male champion at Roland Garros.
In a disheartening final, Nadal, 36, triumphed 6-3, 6-3, and 6-0 with win coming 17 years to the day since he asserted his first French Open as a 19-year-old boy in 2005.
Nadal won the last 11 matches of the final and is now 2 Slams before old rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with Sunday’s win coming defying the odds.
His 2 hour 18 minute victory on Sunday took his record at the tourney to 112 victories against just 3 losses.
Nadal, undefeated in 13 previous finals in Paris and playing in his 30th Grand Slam decider, got off to a fierce start versus Ruud, the first Norwegian man to appear in a championship game at the majors.
World No. 8 Ruud, an epic player on clay since the start of 2020 with 66 victories on the surface, was under pressure again in the second set, having to struggle for 3 break points in the opening game.
There was a sudden shine of hope when he broke for 3-1 with Nadal again coughing up a double fault. Nevertheless, Nadal bounced back with a double break for 4-3.
Ruud saved 3 set points in the 9th game but his first double error of the final handed Nadal a two-set lead.
Nadal had stated on the eve of the final that he would rather lose Sunday’s game in exchange for a new foot.
Nevertheless, without needing to be at his top, he was in complete control versus Ruud, racing away to the title with 3 breaks in a 3rd set which was over in 30 minutes.
Nadal booked the victory with a backhand down the line, his 37th winner of the final.