Rafael Nadal won a record-extending 14th French Open title (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal cruised to a record-extending 14th French Open title by beating Casper Ruud in straight sets [6-3,6-3, 6-0] in Paris this afternoon.
Ruud, a first-time finalist, was broken in his opening service game and despite breaking back, Nadal eased to a 6-3 victory in the first set.
The 23-year-old beat Marin Cilic in the semi-finals to become the first Norwegian to feature in a singles final at a Slam and he appeared nervous at times, with Nadal exploiting his lack of final experience in the early stages.
Ruud was playing in his first Grand Slam final (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
With Nadal sensing blood after a comprehensive first set, the Spaniard sought to blow Ruud away in the early stages of the second and gave himself three break points in the first game.
But the Norwegian showed good mental resilience to fight back by holding his serve and saving the break points.
Nadal’s failure to convert those break points clearly affected his next service game, with the Spaniard sensing a lost opportunity. Whether it was a mental lapse or a sign of physical fatigue, Nadal lost his service game to love and gave Ruud a break with his third double fault of the match.
Ruud threw away a golden opportunity in the second set. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Ruud was understandably buoyed at 3-1 up and on serve but his failure to convert allowed Nadal back into the set, with the Spaniard breaking back immediately and then holding his serve to level.
That failure to hold serve clearly affected Ruud and he gave away control of the match, with Nadal winning five games in a row to win the second set 6-3.
The third and final set was the most straightforward of the three, with Nadal wrapping up the win with a bagel after breaking Ruud three times.
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