Rafael Nadal extends record with his 14th French Open singles title

Rafael Nadal’s mastery at Roland Garros knows no bounds.

Nadal extended his record of French Open singles titles to 14 on Sunday, dispatching No. 8 seed Casper Ruud of Norway 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to become, at age 36, the oldest champion in tournament history.

The fifth-seeded Spaniard also extended his record of men’s Grand Slam singles crowns to 22.

“Being here at 36, being comeptitive again, playing in the most important court of my career one more time … means a lot to me,” Nadal told the adoring crowd in Paris.

Battling a painful foot injury that recently had him contemplating retiring from the sport, Nadal excelled in the return game against Ruud, the first Norwegian to ever appear in a men’s major final.

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Nadal broke serve three times to win the opening set in 51 minutes, then won the second set on another service break when Ruud double-faulted on set point.

By winning the French Open, Rafael Nadal tied Steffi Graf for third place all-time in overall Grand Slam singles titles with 22. Only Serena Williams (23) and Margaret Court (24) have won more.

Ruud, 23, broke Nadal’s serve early in the second set to take a 3-1 lead, but Nadal’s experience on the grand stage was too much to overcome as the veteran Spaniard won the final five games of the set – and 11 consecutive games overall to close out the match.

In his career at Roland Garros, Nadal has an amazing record of 112-3.

Rafael Nadal celebrates with The Musketeers' Cup after defeating Casper Ruud in the men's singles final at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal celebrates with The Musketeers’ Cup after defeating Casper Ruud in the men’s singles final at Roland Garros.

After winning the Australian Open in January, Nadal is now 2-for-2 in Grand Slams in 2022. However, his ailing foot won’t have much recovery time with Wimbledon getting started in just three weeks.

“I have been going through tough times the last couple of months,” Nadal told NBC’s Maria Taylor after the match. “I can’t keep going the way that I’m going.”

With 22 major singles titles, Nadal moved two ahead of rival Novak Djokovic, whom he beat in the quarterfinals in Paris, on the all-time list. Only Serena Williams with 23 and Margaret Court with 24 have won more.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: French Open: Rafael Nadal dominates Casper Ruud to win men’s final

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