Rafael Nadal needs just 2:19 hours for his 14th triumph at the French Open. A demonstration of power by the Spaniard, which leaves time for a completely different tension. During the final in Roland Garros, rumors of his retirement spread. After his speech, however, cheers break out.
When Rafael Nadal lifted the mighty Coupe des Mousquetaires into the sunny Paris sky at 5:46 p.m., a hurricane of jubilation swept over the Court Philippe Chatrier - and the Spanish King Felipe VI. gave enthusiastic and standing applause.
Nadal, also a king in clay court tennis, has reclaimed his throne in Paris in an inimitable manner and is the French Open winner for the 14th time. The 36-year-old Grand Slam record champion from Spain prevailed with a show of power in the final 6: 3, 6: 3, 6: 0 against the Norwegian Casper Ruud. The game lasted just 2 hours and 19 minutes. What would happen afterwards became more exciting than the game itself, especially in the one-sided third set.
Because according to Eurosport, rumors were circulating that the King of Paris could end his career. 14 triumphs in Roland Garros, 112: 3 wins in this tournament, a speech - and that's it. In mid-May, after falling out of the round of 16 at the tournament in Rome, he himself questioned participation in Paris. The pain was too strong. As early as 2005, the Mallorcan was diagnosed with Müller-Weiss syndrome, a degenerative bone disease in which the navicular bone deforms or regresses over time.
But first of all it was the loser's turn with his honor and speech. "Today I felt what it's like to play against you here in a final," said Ruud. "I'm not the first victim. We all hope that you keep going for a while." And thus expressed what everyone on the pitch and in front of the TV screens was hoping for.
Then Nadal enters. After the Spanish national anthem he said: "It's almost impossible for me to describe my feelings. To win the tournament again here at the age of 36, which means everything to me, is unbelievable." He congratulated Ruud and his team, he thanked his team and said that without them he would never have gone on as long. He reflected that this year is an exciting one. It almost seemed as if he wanted to make it exciting. But then he announced that he would continue for the time being: "I don't know what will happen in the future, but I will keep fighting." The thunderous applause showed how happy the audience was about this announcement.
Nadal once again played his great strategic skills on the red ash against Ruud and, for the first time in his career, triumphed in the French capital after winning the title at the Australian Open. With the 22nd victory in a Grand Slam tournament, he extended his record. His longtime rivals Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who knocked out the Mallorcan in the semifinals last year, and Switzerland's Roger Federer have won 20 Grand Slam titles so far.