2022 French Open final, Rafael Nadal vs Casper Ruud: Preview
Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud will lock horns in the final of the 2022 French Open on Sunday. The 21-time Grand Slam champion is vying to win his 14th Roland Garros title. He reached the final after Alexander Zverev retired midway through the semi-final. On the other hand, Ruud qualified for his maiden Grand Slam final after beating Marin Cilic. Here is the preview.
Known as the King of Clay, Nadal owns a total of 13 French Open honors. The Spaniard has won seven more titles than second-placed Bjorn Borg in the Open Era. Nadal holds the record for winning most titles at a single Grand Slam and on a single surface (clay). He has an incredible record of 111-3 at Roland Garros.
Earlier this year, Nadal won his second Australian Open title after beating Daniil Medvedev in the final. Nadal captured his 21st Grand Slam title, now the most in men's singles. He broke a tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (20 each). The Spaniard could go the extra mile this time. He is set to secure a record-extending 22nd major title.
Nadal has featured in 29 Grand Slam finals so far. He is only behind rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (31 each). On Sunday, Nadal will become only the third man to play 30 Grand Slam finals (all-time list).
Nadal has a perfect record in the finals at the French Open (13: 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017-2020). He has featured in 15 semi-finals from 2005 to 2022. The Spaniard lost his only French Open semi-final in 2021 (lost to Djokovic). It was only Nadal's third defeat in the clay-court tournament. Nadal holds the record for reaching five consecutive Roland Garros finals.
Nadal claimed straight-set victories against Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet, and Botic van de Zandschulp in the first three rounds, respectively. The Spaniard then won against Felix Auger Aliassime in five sets. Nadal defeated world number one Djokovic in the quarter-finals. The former avenged his loss from the 2021 French Open. Nadal reached the final after Zverev retired through injury (semi-final).
Casper Ruud has a win-loss record of 149-79 on the ATP Tour. The tally includes just 20 victories at Grand Slams. Ruud has clinched eight ATP titles so far, the last of which he claimed in Geneva this year. Interestingly, he won seven of these titles on clay courts. In 2020, Ruud became the first Norwegian to win an ATP title.
Ruud has the third-most wins on clay in 2022 (15-5). He is only behind Diego Schwartzman (17-7), Carlos Alcaraz (16-1), and Sebastian Baez (16-8) on the list. Both of Ruud's titles this year have come on clay courts. Interestingly, Ruud has won the most number of matches on clay since 2020 (65). He has also won most titles on this surface in this period.
As per Opta, Ruud has become the first Scandinavian man to reach the French Open final since Robin Soderling (2010). Nadal is the fourth man (Open Era) to reach over 130 ATP finals after Jimmy Connors (164), Federer (157), and Ivan Lendl (146). Federer (15 in Basel) is the only man to have played more ATP finals in a single tournament than Nadal (14).