Nadal Wins French Open, 22nd Slam, Wearing $ 1M Timepiece

Rafael Nadal captured his 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam overall, extending the men’s record tallies in both cases. Nadal steamrolled Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to raise his career record at Roland Garros to a staggering 112-3 since his first French Open in 2005.

The win was worth $ 2.35 million (€ 2.2 million) in prize money for the 36-year-old from Spain and pushed his career on-court earnings to $ 130.7 million, $ 100,000 ahead of Roger Federer and second all-time behind Novak Djokovic at $ 156.5 million. In the race for most career Slams, Nadal is now two ahead of both his Big Three rivals.

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The trio has dominated men’s tennis for most of the past two decades. They have captured 62 Slam titles since Federer’s 2003 Wimbledon crown. The rest of the ATP has combined for 13 Slam wins since then.

The 23-year-old Ruud, who is ranked eighth in the world, has trained at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain, which is run by Nadal’s former coach and uncle Toni. The French Open was Ruud’s first time advancing beyond the fourth round of a Slam.

Nadal started his 2022 season having played only two matches since July and fresh off a case of COVID-19 in December. He was also dealing with a chronic foot injury, but he has now taken both Grand Slam events this year, having also won the Australian Open. Rod Laver in 1969 was the last men’s player to win all four major titles in a calendar year.

Rumors swirled over the weekend that Nadal would announce his retirement after the French final, driven by the recurring foot problems, but his longtime press agent called the talk completely false. Nadal addressed his future during his post-match interview.

“I have been going through tough times the last couple of months, and to have the trophy with me here is something that is unbelievable,” Nadal said. “We need to find a solution for [my foot] because I can’t keep going the way I’m going. ”

Nadal has earned roughly $ 500 million during his career on and off the court. His biggest sponsor remains Nike, with a deal worth roughly $ 10 million a year, including bonuses. He also has partnerships with Amstel Light, Babolat, Cantabria Labs, Kia, Santander and Telefonica.

Richard Mille is one of his oldest partners under a deal that dates to 2010. Nadal gives the watchmaker extra mileage by wearing the RM 27-04 Tourbillon during his matches. The watch weighs less than one ounce, including the strap. The 50-piece limited edition was introduced in September 2020 at a price of $ 1.05 million, which inched up slightly as the watches were snapped up. Richard Mille has sold out of the limited edition, according to a company spokesperson.

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