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Rafael Nadal is the most decorated men’s tennis player of all time, having won 21 Grand Slam titles. The 36-year-old Spaniard has racked up the majority of those championships at the French Open, a tournament he has dominated for nearly two decades.
Now, Nadal is again preparing to play in the men’s singles final at Roland Garros. The No. 5 seed in this year’s French Open, Nadal will face No. 8 seed Casper Ruud for the title on Sunday. If Nadal is victorious, he’ll earn his 14th title at the tournament. His first 13 have all come since 2005, and there have been only four French Opens that Nadal hasn’t won since his first.
Ruud, a 23-year-old from Norway, will be playing in the final of a Grand Slam event for the first time. He had previously never made it past the fourth round at a major tournament, and he didn’t make it past the third round in any of his four previous French Open appearances.
Here’s everything else you need to know about the 2022 French Open men’s singles final.
Men’s Singles Final Information
Date: Sunday, June 5
Start Time: 9 a.m. ET
Live Stream: Peacock
It’s no surprise that Nadal has reached the French Open final considering the success he’s experienced at this tournament. Coming into this year’s tournament, it seemed likely that Nadal’s biggest obstacle would be a probable quarterfinal matchup vs. Novak Djokovic, the reigning champion and No. 1 seed.
Nadal and Djokovic met in the quarters, but the match wasn’t quite as close as some had anticipated. Nadal won in four sets, recording a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) victory.
Alexander Zverev, the No. 3 seed, was Nadal’s semifinal opponent, and the 25-year-old German was capable of playing a close match. However, Zverev had to retire during the second set because of an ankle injury. Nadal had won the first set 7-6(8), and the second set was tied at 6-6 when Zverev ended it.
Now, Nadal and Ruud will face off for the first time. Although the two have never met on the court, Ruud trained at Nadal’s academy in Mallorca, Spain.
“He’s a perfect example of how you should behave on court: Never give up and never complain. He’s been my idol for all my life,” Ruud said, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press. “I guess this is perfect timing and worth the wait to finally play him in a Grand Slam final.”
It’s a great opportunity for Ruud, but he’ll be a clear underdog in the match. And it seems highly likely that things will go in Nadal’s favor.
In fact, the prediction here is that Nadal will win in three straight sets and not face much adversity during the match. He has a lot more experience than Ruud, particularly at the French Open. So it’s hard to imagine Nadal not winning the final in dominant fashion.
Even though Nadal has dealt with left foot trouble in recent years, he continues to find his way back to Grand Slam finals. He won the Australian Open earlier in 2022, and now he’ll have an opportunity to begin the year 2-0 in major tournaments.
“All the sacrifices, and all the things that I need to go through to try to keep playing really make sense when you enjoy moments like I’m enjoying in this tournament,” Nadal said, per Fendrich.
There’s one more enjoyable moment coming for Nadal this year at Roland Garros: Another French Open title.
Prediction: Nadal wins in three straight sets