Within an hour and a half, Rafael Nadal had created a clay-court master class and won his 22nd Grand Slam and 14th French Open title, extending his record by defeating debutant finalist Caspar Root in straight sets. The dominant scene of the Spaniards is another scene of the trademark combination of smart tricks and ruthless shot-making.
Root could not cope with the back hand
Aside from the red dirt on the Roland Corros, it was a tough task to deal with Nadal’s front hand anywhere. That shot makes the ball feel like a rock in the racquet with so much spin and bounce in the back corner of the opponent’s right hand player. In the end, it turned out that Root could not negotiate with much success.
A little more on the myth.
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– Roland Garros (rolandgarros) June 5, 2022
The Norwegian saw no purchase on his back and could not fix it and his forehand, so he had to move too far to the baseline or pick up the ball to deal with Nadal’s crosscard forehand. The Spaniard realized this early on and actively targeted the wing, choosing to go down with his own back hand to expose his opponent in that shot. The 36-year-old initially played a major role in this tactic of stepping foot and flying out of the gates.
Of the 16 winners Root scored in all competitions, only four came from the backhand, none of which were ground strokes, and only one of them made it to the first set. Fifteen of the 23 forced errors he made in the game were backwards, which explains Nadal’s dominance in cross court exchanges.
Trick and perseverance
The court was adorned with a quote from Philippe Chatterjee Roland Garros on the ground that Nadal’s record of winning 14 titles was not without evidence.
On Sunday, the Spaniard started the second set a bit sluggish, wasting some break-point chances in the first game, losing his own serve and going 1-3 down. There, Nadal won 11 games in a row and finished the final, and while his ground strokes, tactics, shot placement and skillful touch were on display, his determination played a major role in dominating.
Root was forced to play a perfect shot to win even one point against the Spanish player – sometimes several times in a rally. As the dry conditions under the Paris sunlight played right into his hands, Nadal made it twice as hard against anyone else to win from the root base.
With the exception of an exceptional first serve, the Norwegians seldom rewarded a cheap point, and Nadal’s 14 winners for four forced errors in the 30 – minute final – including Root’s total of eight points – testify to the incredible level. He has been active with tennis and perseverance.
Nadal’s recent victory at the Roland Crossing will set a number of exciting records – winning 14 French Open, the oldest men’s singles Roland Crossing title, 22 Grand Slam titles, one of two men (the other Roger Federer at the 2017 Australian Open). A Major defeating four to 10 players, and presumably several. But for someone who has played the majority of a Grand Slam match, with an anesthetic injection to alleviate the pain of a chronic leg injury, Nadal has once again proved that his best character will always be his perseverance.