Nadal Looks For Grand Slam Title No. 22, Ruud His First In The French Open Final Today

by Staff | June 5th, 2022, 5:36 am

Rafael Nadal will look to win his 22nd career Grand Slam today on his favorite court in the world at the French Open.

Across the net will be first-time Slam finalist Casper Ruud who is the first man from Norway ever make it even past the fourth round at this level.

The two are good friends, past practice partners at the Rafael Nadal Academy and sometimes gold buddies. But today, they will meet for the first time on the pro circuit and do so on the biggest court in the world, Philippe Chatrier, and on the biggest stage on the clay.

Nadal is a perfect 13-0 once he makes the French Open final beating all that have stood in his way. The Spaniard, who just celebrated his 36 birthday on Friday, will try to become the oldest champion at this event in the Open Era.

Ruud, 23, can become the youngest champion since Nadal won his first 17 years ago in 2005 at the age of 17.

“To play Rafa in a Roland Garros final is probably the greatest challenge there is in this sport,” Ruud said Friday. “I believe he’s 13-0 in the finals, so just shows that it might sound like an impossible task. But of course I will give it a shot like the other 13 people before me have done.

“It’s obviously going to be tough. We all know what a great champion he is and how well he plays in the biggest moments and the biggest matches.

“I’m just going to try to enjoy it. I will be the underdog, and I will try to, you know, tonight and tomorrow night dream about great winners and unbelievable rallies, because that’s what it’s going to take if I want to have any chance, and I will need to play my best tennis ever.

“But I still have to believe that I can do it, and I think part of my game today was working very well. In the end, I was playing great in the third and fourth set.”

Nadal is in his first clay final in over a year. So far, the foot has ben fine this week.

“I have a huge respect for him. First of all in terms of a friend, he has a great character,” said Nadal. “He’s a great guy, and he has a great family. Honestly, no? That’s the main thing. As a player, of course, I respect a lot him. He did a lot of great things the last couple of years. He’s the number, which number, 8? 7 in the world?

“He’s very relaxed, humble. He’s always in a positive mood about learning,” he added.

“I think in the academy we were able to help him a little bit during this period of time, but more than another thing is about, as I always say, I like to see the good persons achieving his dreams. I think Casper, I’m happy for him, as I said before, I’m happy for his mom, dad. I know them very well. They are a super-healthy family and great people. As always, I am super happy when I see these great people having success.

“So for me, is not a big surprise. I mean, Casper is one of the candidates about winning in every clay court event that he’s playing. He’s one of the clear favorites, no? Yeah, I mean, he’s not a big surprise at all.”

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11 Comments for Nadal Looks For Grand Slam Title No. 22, Ruud His First In The French Open Final Today

fred stone Says:

Take as much time as you need, King…
As Muzza would say:” Fuck this shit.”

Giles Says:

Many congratulations Rafa. You did it. What a champion you are, now and forever. Vamos Champ!
22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22

billyboy312 Says:

No asterisk needed with this victory. GOAT!

Ahfi Says:

Are we still going by the number of slams for the GOAT title? Since the noise has died down, just wondering where my Federer stands in this race……

chrisford1 Says:

Some will go by “Slamcount”, but the 3, then 4 Slams in the modern area once the AO was made a peer Slam in the 80s and ending half the player’s skipping the remote travel travel to it??? That just isn’t all of pro tennis.
More points and money in the other ATP and WTA events, by design, so the leagues have a say vs. the independent owners of 3 Slams, and the AO owned by the government through Tennis Australia.

Others will go on total points, will go on Eras vs. debate if Laver is greater than Rafa or Fed or Novak due to being banned from the Slams at his peak while still winning two Grand Slams.

skeezer Says:

The thing I like about Rafa is he never harps on his goal to be #1, for how long, his goal to overtake whoever has GS titles, attempting to be the GOAT, etc.etc. He just enjoys playing and lets his play do the talking for the most part. Kudos to him.

skeezer Says:

The GS titles are the most important accomplishments in tennis.

zed Says:

Agreed that in the hierarchy of accomplishments the grand slams are the most important. Whilst Rafa has two more than Novak and Roger (albeit with the recent AO having an asterisk next to it) time will tell who will have the most when all three careers are ended.

Roger’s career was over a while ago so he will stay at 20 until the end of time. Rafa and Novak have at least a couple more years to go, maybe three, how many Grand Slams they will be holding when they finally retire is any one’s guess.

However, we can make some reasoned projections, let’s do that shall we?

Without political intervention I’d say most would agree that Novak is the favourite for Australian Opens and Wimbeldons with the US Open being a tournament where he is 50/50. The French is clearly Rafa’s strength.

They’re pretty close in age with Rafa being a year older. If we assume that the battle for Grand Slams will continue then I think they can both can last to at least their 38th birthday and then play on to the end of that calendar year.

That means Rafa to play to the end of 2024 and Novak to play to the end of 2025.

That means Rafa has 2 more Aus Opens, 2 more French Opens, 3 more Wimbeldons, 3 more US Opens. A total of 10 Grand Slams, 2 of which he’s strong for and the others (if you are honest) he is unlikely to win if Novak is playing. Best case scenario for Rafa is 24 Grand Slams upon retirement.

Novak however has 3 more Aus Opens, 3 more French Opens, 4 more Wimbeldons and 4 more US Opens. A total of 14 Grand Slams. If you assume he never wins another French Open and you assume he remains strong for the Aus Opens (if no political intervention) then there’s 3 right there for him. However, of the 4 Wimbeldons you’d be a liar if you said he was not strong for at least the next two, there’s another two Grand Slams. Historically Novak has not done as well at the US Open and he may well be prevented from playing this year (political intervention yet again) so of the 4 US Opens left to him I think it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for him to take at least 1.

That brings Novak to 26 Grand Slams upon retirement.

Will they play to the end of the calendar year they turn 38? Will they play longer or will they retire earlier? Nobody knows but I think Novak is more likely to outlast Rafa rather than the reverse.

This is all in response to Grand Slam counts (which I think I have shown Novak will win). However, if you count ALL tournaments then there is no competition. Novak wins hands down as Ultimate Tennis Statistics shows us:

In the end the fan boys who grow tumescent when they see Rafa’s bulging muscles (I’m looking at you Giles) won’t care about Grand Slams, ATP 1000’s or any other real-world results. Their decision will be based purely on their “feelings” just as Roger’s sheep do when the media tells them to say “baa baa”.

Dispassionate and honest people will see the truth clearly and that is how history will record things when the fan boys are gone.

Giles Says:

Zed. What on earth are you waffling about! Concentrate on the here and now, not what might or might not happen in the future. You are not really in a position to speculate! Who knows what the future will hold! Let’s just wait and see As of now Rafa is the GOAT! Like it or not! Vamos Champ! πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾

zed Says:

Giles, of course I’m in a position to speculate, I just did and I did it well! :)

Rafa has two more Grand Slams in the here and now (using your terminology) but is still number 3 on the GOAT list, in the here and now, as I have shown. He may overtake Roger eventually but will not catch Novak.

Wimbeldon will be upon us in the blink of an eye and I’m picking Novak for it. Are you putting some money on Rafa?

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