Rafael Nadal, a 13-time French Open champion, will take on Casper Ruud, a trainee at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy, in the men’s final of Roland Garros 2022.
In his on-court interview Ruud said, "He has played so many finals, but at least he is playing a student from his academy this time. So, it is going to be a fun one hopefully.”
While the two have never faced each other, the younger player comes into the final having spent considerable time on the clay court. He has a win-loss record of 15 wins and five losses as compared to Nadal’s three wins and two losses this season.
As for their playing styles, both players deploy heavy spin and bank on their forehand to do the damage. However, Nadal comes to this final after getting a walkover as Alexander Zverev retired injured, while Ruud has momentum on his side, having beaten Marin Cilic in four games 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
While Nadal has a scintillating record at the French Open, having won the title the most number of times in the open era, Ruud is making an attempt to dethrone the 'King of Clay'. With his big serve and ground strokes, the World No. 8 can threaten to stage a coup with Nadal’s injury being the talk of the town.
The Spaniard, on being asked about his preference to either win the title or get a new foot chose the latter after his semi-final match, alluding to his situation right now as he struggles to play tournaments.
On the other hand, Casper Ruud looks in great form having returned from one set down to win his semifinal match. This combined with the fact that he has age on his side should hold him in good stead even as all records weigh heavily in Rafael Nadal’s favour.
Road to the French Open final: