Paris; Some players were born with God-given talent. Natural flamboyance always keeps such athletes above their competitors. Rafael Nadal of Spain is in the company of an elite band of sportspersons who believe in making history and always try to remain one step ahead.
The Spaniard fired at Roland Garros and wrote his name in French Open history last night. It was his 14th triumph at Paris and overall 22nd Grand Slam title in the men’s singles competition. This year is special for him because he lifted both the Australian Open and the French Open together. In fact, the 36-year-old has proved why he is dubbed as ‘the king of clay’.
Last night in Paris, Nadal showed his class and powerful tennis that made his opponent, Casper Ruud, clueless on the court and failed to create any sort of trouble for his senior opponent. The Spaniard overpowered his Norwegian in three straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, in the final. With this victory, Nadal kept his record intact of never losing at Paris in a final.
The veteran Spaniard deserves credit for overcoming physical ailments and triumphing at the Australian Open in January, despite not having enough preparation time to win his 21st Slam and leaving his two fierce modern tennis competitors, Federer and Novak Djokovic, in the dust. All three were tied with 20 titles before the first Grand Slam of 2022.
Rudd, the youngster from Norway, played tremendous tennis throughout the competition, and reaching the final is a personal milestone for him and his country as well. Competing against a player of the calibre of Nadal is a daunting task for any modern-day player.
Despite the fact that he did not fire many missiles in the final, he issued a warning to his fellow players: be prepared to dance to his music in the upcoming tournaments. Playing in the final must have been a confidence booster for him, and he can now consider keeping his hand on Grand Slam titles in the future.
The next big tennis title clash will kick off at Wimbledon on June 27. Nadal hasn’t played at Wimbledon since 2019. If health permits, then he can think of participating. Otherwise, he is doubtful of taking the court in 2022 at Wimbledon, which is Nadal’s least favourite surface.