French Open: Imperious Nadal eases to record-extending 22nd grand slam title

By Sports Desk June 05, 2022

Rafael Nadal emphatically sealed a record-extending 14th French Open title with an imperious straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud on Sunday.

Fifth seed Nadal was relentless as he took his record tally of grand slam titles to 22 with another domineering display, beating Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0 to reign yet again on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Amid uncertainty over how long the 36-year-old Spaniard will be able to continue playing, he did not resemble a man who has been struggling with a foot injury as he outclassed Ruud in the Norwegian's first major final.

Ruud was no match for his idol, who won 11 games in a row to secure back-to-back grand slam triumphs and maintain his perfect record in championship matches at Roland Garros.

Nadal struck an early blow when he broke with a majestic cross-court forehand winner on the run for a 2-0 lead, but he gifted the eighth seed an immediate break back with a couple of double faults before missing a forehand.

Ruud was unable to build on that, spraying a wild forehand long and seeing another bounce before crashing into the net to go a break down at 3-1.

Nadal darted in to put away a backhand winner to go 5-2 up and fired down three excellent serves in a row to wrap up the set.

Ruud got himself out of a hole by saving three break points before holding in the first game of the second set and the sprightly Scandinavian broke to love for a 3-1 lead, Nadal ending a poor service game with a double fault.

There was a sense of deja vu when Nadal broke straight back, letting out a roar after Ruud looped a backhand into the tramlines and the Mallorca native led 4-3 when a lob from the underdog landed long.

Nadal was shifting through the gears, disdainfully swatting away forehand winners to get a packed crowd purring as he won a fifth game in a row to take the second set.

A prowling Nadal continued to dominate, racing in to put away another winner for a 2-0 lead in the third set and showing no mercy on a player who has trained at his academy but was not made to feel so welcome by one of the all-time greats in Paris.

Ruud had no answer to the brilliance of Nadal as he was swept aside in the most one-sided of third sets, the champion putting him out of his misery with a backhand winner.

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