Nadal Hammers Ruud For 22nd Grand Slam Title, 14th French Open Trophy

by Sean Randall | June 5th, 2022, 3:11 pm

If the GOAT debate wasn’t over, it is now.

Today, Rafael Nadal destroyed Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to win his 22nd Grand Slam title and 14th French Open.

“For me personally, it is very difficult to describe the feelings that I have. It is something that I have never believed. To be here at 36, being competitive again on the most important court of my career,” Nadal said on court. “One more title means a lot. It means a lot of energy to try and keep going.

“I don’t know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try and keep going.”

The guy is 36, walking on one foot and he’s still untouchable on the terre battue. That’s four Top 10 wins with a numb foot including Novak Djokovic.

Today, though, it was a scratchy opening by both players but to start the second, you could see Ruud settle down a bit. He started getting some range and depth on the forehand and find his serve.

I didn’t think Nadal played a good first set and then you saw Ruud bust ahead in the second 3-1, shades of his match against Marin Cilic. But just when it looked like Nadal would be in for a dogfight, Rafa went to another level and in jaw-dropping won the next 11 games to take the match.

It was an astonishing one-hour run to close out the 23-year-old Ruud who clearly was in awe of moment. And by the end, all Casper could do himself was gaze in wonder at his idol.

“It’s your 14th time here, 22nd all round in Grand Slams, we all know what a champion you are,” Ruud said on the court.

“Today I got to feel how it is to play you in a final. It’s not easy. I’m not the first victim, I know there have been many before,” he said. “You are a true inspiration for me, for everyone who follows tennis around the world. We all hope you continue for some more time.

“I said before the match that I guess it is, but now I think I know it is,” Ruud added later. “So at least what I have faced, it’s really challenging and really tough. His numbers speak for themselves. He has never lost a final here, and there is a reason why.”

Ruud did himself proud during the week and hopefully the scar tissue from this loss won’t damage or derail his ascent. For the moment, he becomes another victim of the Big 3.

“It was the first time I have experienced in this situation and play a Grand Slam final. I don’t think it really got to me until I stepped on court today and saw the full stadium and felt the atmosphere in the crowd,” Ruud said.

“It was a little bit, honestly, a bit tough to find myself too comfortable in the situation in the beginning. As the match went on, I tended to feel a little bit better and I could calm down and breathe out a little bit more.

“But it was challenging because you are playing him, the most winning-slam player ever and on this court in the final,” he went on. “It’s not too easy.”

Nadal’s feats keep piling up. He’s now the oldest to ever with at Roland Garros. He’s now won the French and the Australian in the same year for the first time, and is 14-0 in Slams in 2022 and a perfect 14-0 in the French Open final. And who knows what’s next.

“It’s not about being the best of the history. It’s not about the records. It’s about I like what I do. I like to play tennis. And I like the competition,” Nadal said.

“As I said couple of times in the past and is not a thing that I repeat, is not the thing that I don’t feel for me, we achieved our dreams. Me, Roger, Novak, we achieved things that probably we never expected.

“For me, what drives me to keep going is not about the competition to try to be the best or to win more Grand Slams than the others.

“What drives me to keep going is the passion for the game, live moments that stay inside me forever, and play in front of the best crowds in the world and the best stadiums.

“That drives me, no? And the passion for what I do. Then of course if I don’t feel myself competitive, I don’t enjoy. So that’s it. But is not about the goal about winning more titles. It’s about a goal to give myself a chance to keep doing what I like to do.”

This from a guy who contemplated retirement last winter. Now he’s in position for a Calendar Slam if his foot and body allow. I guess that’s the only thing that can stop him.


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27 Comments for Nadal Hammers Ruud For 22nd Grand Slam Title, 14th French Open Trophy

Howard Says:

The first line here says everything that needs saying. GOAT debate resolved. For now.

chrisford1 Says:

Not sure if GOAT is resolvable to start with since it is purely subjective and left that way intentionally, to spur fan interest.
For now, most would agree that Novak was in the top position a year ago. Whether you went on Slamcount or had a more comprehensive view that other Tennis tournaments also mattered.

And as captain of his own ship and master of his own fate, Djokovic then sailed himself into the rocks of a reef.

And most would say rejecting everyone’s advice to avoid the Olympics – including the tennis captain and his own coach who dumped him over it, then refusing to get vaccinated – smacked of stupidity and hubris.

Another way of putting it is due to mental/political issues on matters outside tennis, Djokovic had the best position to finish, he took his foot off the gas and Rafa powered by him.

Raj Says:

Awesome Rafa!

GOAT debate is subjective. but, its between Nadal and Nole only. Roger does not hold any significant record. All his records were surpassed by Nadal/Nole. He holds some records like 5+ titles in 3 different slams. But, Nole and Nadal have very big records.

Nole – Holding all slams together, 370+ weeks number1, most masters, all masters
Nadal – Massive 14 in a single slam, olympic golds, many 10+ titles, ofcourse 22 slams

Madmax Says:

Congratulations to all of the Rafa fans out there. I was little underwhelmed with the match, but I am so pleased for Rafa. It is truly awesome what he has achieved. He can walk onto the court with crutches and still win.

He is just amazing. A true champion, so humble, a brilliant athlete (godly), a fantastic human being. If only the world was run by “Rafas” in government. Imagine that. Humble, kind, caring, talented, peaceful – the world would be a better place.

I hope he is able to rest up and we see him again at Wimbledon.

A brilliant year for Rafa.

Madmax Says:


There is no need for snide comments, really. “big records?” – what are you talking about?

Federer, even with being off tour right now, has won 82.1% of the games he has played in his career, (1242 wins to 271 losses). Only second to Rafa, (990 wins to 200 losses). Hard court, Fed has won 83.3% of his matches, Rafa 78.8%. Just check out the ATP website.

6 year end wins as best player, best Wimbledon men’s singles record, 5 consecutive years reaching all 4 Grand Slam finals.

You are an amateur Raj in this debate.

Right now, this is Rafa’s time, shine a light on him Raj.

Daniel Says:

Agree ref Fed, he lost his 2 bastion: Total weeks as #1 and Grand Salm total. Yes, he has a bunch of insane records, but when push comes to shove, it will be between Nadal and Djojko.

To me, its still Djoko, Holding 4 Slam at the same time and his resume is more balanced, plus #1 records (almost all of them), Masters, etc.. This RG show Nadal still is too dependent on RG, I mean 14 out of his 22 are on clay, 2 out of 3. And we all know he only won that AO by default. DjokoVID literally messed his own career by a stupid decision, probably won’t play USO due to vaccination either.

Yeah, Nadal played the field, but even so, on normal circunstances added the hardcourt domain Djokovic has over him, this factors have to be taken in mind.

One more Wimbledon (this year) and Nadal will be the GOAT, unquestionably. #1 will follow and he will 3 apart from Djoko. At his point who know if Djoko will ever win another Slam, can’t believe I am saying this 9 months after he was going for a Calendar Sam last USO. That is how fast things shift in tennis.

lylenubbins Says:

The most incredible part to me is Rafa did it playing with a numb left foot. Unreal.

I personally don’t think you can pick a GOAT out of these guys but Rafa was a unique and special warrior spirit, that’s for sure.

Raj Says:

You can not specifically call out ONE without mentioning the other TWO. All three of are part of history.

Daniel Says:

Also, seems Nadal is either very lucky or mentally picking the right moments too get going. I mean, if you see his end of last season, bad. Djoko drama at AO and suddenby he sees the light, capitlize and wins it, ride some momentum and win a few more titles. Left foot reopens and he has his worst clay season to date, gets a bad draw with in RG with Djoko in his quarters, bang. Saves set poiont in 4th set and seal the deal. Win another Slam. His timing is just perfect. Let’s see.

Raj Says:

Dont bring the luck topic.. Nole has been super lucky all these years..

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Daniel, I think you’re example of the French Open shows the opposite of luck, or opportunism: he came in injured, had a brutal draw, and still won it.

I do think Fed has been left behind in the GOAT debate. I would certainly favour Rafa right now, though Novak does have a more ‘complete’ dominance, for whatever that’s worth.

Consider this though, when using the old ‘too much clay’ slander on Rafa: he has won 8 Slams off clay. The same as total slams by Lendl, Connors, Emerson, Agassi– all time greats! Imagine! He is equal to them WITHOUT the French! That’s a damn good resume.

Very happy I’ve gotten to enjoy these amazing rivalries. The length of total chokehold dominance of the Big Three is unreal.

skeezer Says:

And one could say all because of Fed. Why? He set the bar for Rafa and Djoker. Without Fed to chase, where would they be? I do think Rafa would have still gotten all those GS titles on Clay, but Fed made both of them better on the other surfaces. Rafa’s best performance ever imo was on grass, not clay(2008 wimby final). My only critique about Rafa’s game is he could have been more aggressive on other surfaces, ie: hit the ball on the rise. It would have gotten him so much more titles….. lol….not that he needs any more!
Their game grew up in Feds era, knowing this is the guy to beat if I have want to become one of the best.
They all have had their moments against each other, but to me Fed was more dominant and consistent against the field through his career.

Raj Says:

True, all three raised bar . You can not simply pick one without referring the other two.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

worth mentioning as we weight Rafa and Novak on their respective tallies, we will go into Wimbledon with Novak a 3x reigning champion and will be a BIG favourite.

zed Says:

TV, and remember the Wimbeldon management have excluded all Russian players (unbelievable!). No Medvedev, no Rublev, no lower ranked players like Khachanov and Karatsev.

What effect will all that have on the tournament?

We are living in crazy times.

chrisford1 Says:

Poor bad luck Sasha! Don’t know how bad, but it will be several months with torn ligaments and mending and rehab, I think. He should have a better picture soon, but I’m deeply sorry. He was hanging tough with Rafa over two LONG sets, and Boom!

He’ll need a couple super models to cheer him up.

I’m the only one that commented on the French Open Woman’s champ? What’s going on? Give Iga some some love! Has some nice trophy photos on a bridge over a canal, with the French fashionistas glamming her up.
I knew Iga’s last name Swiatek means Christmas from Polish Christmas confections we got from by brother’s 2nd gen Polish wife. But I did not know that Nadal’s last name is Catalan for “Christmas”. So Happy Christmas, early! And both have a real shot at Wimbledon.

chrisford1 Says:

Zed – It is just a shame about the Russian athlete ban. Especially since it looks like this was a war the US CIA, Oligarchs, and State Dept Neocons instigated. This was a war the Americans wanted to wage with their Ukrainian money launderers back in 2017, but Trumps election messed up their plans The Ukrainians have responsibility for sabotaging the Minsk agreements and thinking the USA had their backs as they signed the Nov 10, 2021 Strategic Charter.
Of course the Russians bear some of the blame as well, but if Wimbledon was fair, they would ban the US, the lackey poodles to the American Democrats, the Brits – and the Ukrainians as well as Russians and Belarussians.
Of course the Brits can’t easily ban themselves, but I’m talking fairness, not reality.

zed Says:

ChrisF, there is no fairness, there is no justice.

I’d love to live in a world where journalists told the truth but I have never lived in that world (even though when I was young I mistakenly believed I did).

If truth was reported then it would be widely understood how much money is stolen from taxpayers by obscenely corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, media, and the military-industrial complex.

If there was truth it would be understood how these people cause the maiming, starvation, torture and death of millions of people and do so again and again. These people literally cause all that suffering for money and are never held to account.

In countries like Australia or the USA we are usually untouched by the wars and misery caused by these people so it’s “out of sight out of mind” for us.

However, that is the case when we invade or corner countries that can’t retaliate, can’t cause us any pain or misery other than terrorist attacks.

But now, are we going to corner Russia? Is that the plan? Are we going to be untouched if Russia decides they are left with no option other than a first strike? That’s the danger these people put us in by constantly testing the resolve of the Russians.

There’s no good guys, that is the absolute truth. I don’t see the Russians as good guys, I don’t see NATO as the good guys, I definitely do not see the USA and UK as good guys. The psychopaths in charge risk all of us and they can do it over and over again because we are brain-washed by their servants in the media (who also do their evil for money).

The very few people who refuse to be brain-washed are in the vast minority and we live our lives surrounded by bleating sheep.

skeezer Says:

Thanks for posting that Giles. Nice to see the sportsmanship from leaders of the Game.

Patson Says:

Congrats to Rafa. He deserved it. Although in a few week’s time, pretty sure Nole would be lifting his 21st grand slam. So I’m still heavily betting on Nole winning the Grand Slam race eventually. But 14 RG titles, wow. Just mind blowing.

Also, just great to see how Skeezer and Giles get along with each other these days. It’s heart warming to see how they’ve moved past their feuds. I’d love to know when and how this transition happened, but may be some other time.

robert Says:

The debate is far from over.

Djoker still has the H2H and many other important records like masters and year end masters and no.1. And he is still years from retiring.

Nadal’s OZ win has an asterisk on it, also.
Djoker, defending champ, was politically witch-hunted out of Australia while now magically not being a ‘threat to society’ just months later in RG, still unvaxxed, and people still blame him and not the Australian government? The protocols changed on a dime and nobody questions anything. It’s quite scary how easy it is to control the masses.

Djoker could still win Wimbledon and the US this year. He can also pick up more slams regardless. Nadal is the one with chronic injury problems and who knows how well he’ll do for the rest of the year and beyond.

But Djoker is really only 1 GS behind now, because if he gets one more, the rest of his record, the balance, plus the asterisk on Nadal’s Oz win will put him ahead for all reasonable fans. He’s capable of getting more though.

This isn’t over until they’ve both finished and we can compare.

zed Says:

Patson, it’s because it’s Pride Month, they agree to a truce in that month because of shared interests.

Adman Says:

Hey Giles, even in your moment of triumph you are preoccupied with Djokovic. This guy has destroyed you man.

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