Veteran Nadal reaffirms his worth

PARIS – After two weeks of twists and turns, it’s all gone. The best player in the world, Inga Sweetek, won the women’s singles when she arrived in Paris as a huge favorite.

And then came the veterans’ turn on Sunday, as Rafael Nadal won his 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam.

Nadal was mentioned as the winning alternative to men’s singles between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, but did you ever doubt him? By Sunday afternoon, he was in the middle of his second home victory, defeating Caspar Rudd 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to recapture La Coupe des Muscatiers.

Nadal has frightened us on several occasions this year. She is more vulnerable than ever because of a severe injury to her left leg that has derailed her, but so far she has been together for the Grand Slam. He added a French Open title to the Australian Open, which he won back in January. It all happened when he was talking about the possibility of retiring at the end of the year – and those ideas continued to spread to France.

On the morning of the final, there were rumors that Nadal would announce his retirement. But the match ended when he stopped in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” Nadal said after giving Rude his best. “But I’ll keep fighting to move on.”

That fight saw him reach new heights using continuous injections to reduce foot pain. But it is not a viable solution in the long run. Next week, he will go to the doctor for a procedure called radiofrequency nerve ablation, which he hopes will be fixed. If that doesn’t work, Nadal will consider other options, such as major surgery or possibly retirement.

“Let’s do it [it] Step by step, like I did all my tennis career, “he said on Sunday. “It’s the next step. After that, let’s see how it works. Hopefully, and I’m always positive, [it] Works more or less well, and can pull out a little [of] If the pain happens to me, let’s see if I can continue the grass season. “

Nadal’s longevity means generations are overlapping. In the final, he faces Rudd, who trains at Nadal’s academy in Mallorca. Despite a pilgrimage to Roland Garros to watch Nadal’s final match in 2013, Ruud grew up making a statue of Spaniard. So as Rudd develops his game, who can learn better than that man? Here, Nadal’s record is measured in two ways: one as an ideal, the other as a charming, intimidating person on the court.

Every time Nadal steps on the chatter, there is a roar. Their coexistence with the soil has evolved over the years, but it all adds to this sense of invincibility. His ridiculous record of 112 wins in just three defeats at Roland Garros only adds to the illusion.

“Hopefully one day I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I played against Rafa at Philippe-Chatier,” Rude said Sunday.

Beyond Nadal’s victory, the fortnight will be remembered for Alcarz’s rise to prominence and emergence as a future force, with Alexander Zverev retiring from the semi-finals due to a disability injury and returning to the Grand Slam circuit after missing the Australian Open. Djokovic’s return. Joe-Wilfred Tsonga, who lost to Rud in the first round, was also dismissed.

Rudd made history as the first Norwegian man to reach the Grand Slam singles final, and there is good competition as he looks back with Holger Rune after the semifinals.

But despite all the risks required for the title, it all came back to Nadal. His ruthlessness on the ground is echoed by his teammate 2022 champion Sweetek.

“I remember meeting Rafa last year when he lost in the semi-finals [the] The next day, incidentally, I had breakfast at the hotel and I told him I was basically crying in the evening because he was lost, “said Sweetek. He was sitting, and he was saying, ‘Hey, this is just a tennis match, you know. Is it You won; It’s normal to lose. ‘ Not everyone can do that and just look at those big moments as a second match, you know. It’s something special. “

She visited his academy in early May and was surprised to see his trophy there. All 22 Grand Slams are presented in one way or another, with their 79 Tour winners and two Olympic gold medals. The gold-plated vision of dominance echoes Svetk, and she may be willing to act as a leading force in the soil.

It was always going to be Sweetech’s losing championship. She came to the French Open as a huge favorite and dropped just one set on her way to her second Grand Slam title in Paris in three years.

“Well, for me, I felt content,” she said. “The hardest thing is don’t let yourself think about it, don’t do too much analysis and don’t let yourself think of all the numbers and possibilities, you know?”

But despite being distracted, the way she beat Coco Goff in the final in 1 hour, 8 minutes was absolutely ruthless – and was characteristic of her run at the French Open.

Svitech spoke quickly about the pressure of being number one and how she managed, but she seldom appeared nervous on the court. There was a small glimpse of the fourth-round victory over Quinwen Zheng, where she had to change her game plan to find the answer, but she still managed to solve it in her own unique way: she sang dua lipa for herself.

It’s all part of her unique nature: on the court she goes into her own uncontrollable competition mode, while off the court she is interesting and friendly, not afraid to share some insights about her champion mentality. She said she liked the symmetry of the Palace of Versailles, adding in a few days to her pre-match playlists of five songs, including Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and AC / DC, Pearl Jam. , Gorillaz and Led Zeppelin.

But it all comes down to one overriding goal: she was asked before the competition what her favorite part of tennis was. “Of course I like to win, obviously,” she replied.

In the last fortnight we have seen the world No. 1 grow with impressive integrity in its own skin. At the beginning of the competition, she said, “I’m adapting to it.

She brought in performance psychologist Daria Abramovich to face the overwhelming moniker’s mental challenges, which she thanked after winning the championship. Sweetek was also open about why he turned down the opportunity to watch the Champions League final, fearing it would get out of his way. She said it would be convenient for her to do so in the future, but not now because she sees life as the best player in the world.

Her victory ended in a draw for the women’s group for a few weeks. It all started with an hour-long seed loss, and by the third round, Sweetek was left alone in the top 10.

She brought harmony to the past turmoil of the women’s draw, where it was very difficult to predict the exact winner. His unbeaten run in 35 matches equals Venus Williams ‘record and he is two places behind Martina Hingis’ 37 runs. For Sweettech, the biggest achievement of her fortnight at Roland Garros was surpassing Serena Williams’ previous record of 34 wins. One line.

After Ashley Barty, who is eager to follow the likes of Goff, Emma Radukanu, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep and perhaps Serena Williams, she is now a clear favorite for Wimbledon.

“Honestly, there’s always something to improve,” Sweetek said. “I’m still not a complete player, you know. Specially, I think I can be stronger on the net too. “

Svitek has confirmed that she is going to win two grand slams in SW19, we are waiting to see if Nadal plays there.

“It’s not about being the best [in] History, “said Nadal. “It’s not about the record. It’s about it. I love what I do, you know. I love playing tennis. For me, trying to be the best, or competing to win more Grand Slams than anyone else, motivates me to keep going. I’m still happy to play tennis … [I’m] Will keep running if I’m not able [I’m] They will do other things. “

Eventually that foot will tear him down and this era of soil domination will come to an end. Moments, photos and memories of his greatness will remain immortal.

There will always be royalties here. And, it seems, Switech is poised to enter a new era of clay-court dominance.

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