2022 French Open Day 15: Rafa Nadal pulled off way comfortably against Casper Ruud en route to his 22nd grand slam title here at Court Philippe Chatrier

What a way to close out after 15 days of top-standard grand slam tennis with the men’s singles’ final in this year’s French Open. World No.8 from Norway Casper Ruud did his best to hold out Rafa earlier on between the 1st and 2nd sets. But it’s Rafa who was outstanding for the whole time that blew Ruud away so easily with the championship win at Court Philippe Chatrier; 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.

It’s not the ending Casper Ruud hoped for after he finished runner-up in his first ever grand slam singles’ final at age 23. He showed some fight when trying to catch up to Nadal earlier on, as well as the 2nd set restart where Ruud got the better momentum there. However, a poor opening set start and a lack of 2nd half pull robbed him the chance to shut down Rafa, before he was comfortably beaten without any game registered by the 3rd & final set. What he can learn from his first-ever grand slam final is for Ruud to take out these positives that helped him work his way through this men’s singles draw, and try go go one better later this year at Wimbledon and/or US Open. There’s still plenty of time left to make history of world tennis throughout this 2020s decade.

And once again this is grand slam title No.22, as well as his 14th French Open Championship for Rafa Nadal aka The King of Clay. He fired off comfortably with a decent early lead against Ruud where the Norwegian may have held Rafa back a bit when he was being tested. But he was simply too good where he had the better experience, patience, fightback & execution to pull off from start to finish in three straight sets. It will be interesting to see if Rafa can complete the clean sweep with all four grand slam titles in the one year going into Wimbledon in a few weeks, as well as the US Open in late August-early September. He also just turned 36 a few days ago where this will be his next and last golden target before Rafa retires.

Two grand slams done, two to go. We now turn our attention to The Championships at Wimbledon in London, England, from Monday June 27 to Sunday July 10.

#Tennis #RafaNadal #CasperRuud #FrenchOpen #GrandSlam #RolandGarros #Spain #Norway #CourtPhilippeChatrier #ATPTour

2022 French Open Day 14: Iga Swiatek too good from start to finish v Coco Gauff that clinched her 2nd grand slam championship since the 2020 edition on clay

It’s been a quick and easy finish to the women’s singles’ final on Day 14 of this year’s French Open where Iga Swiatek just won her 2nd grand slam title since 2020 here on clay at Court Philippe Chatrier. She had no problem getting the job done fair and square against Coco Gauff in straight sets; 6-1, 6-2.

Yes, it’s hard to look back on what it’s like to settle second best from 18-year-old American Coco Gauff. She had a brilliant restart into the second set in a bid to stay in this fight, having fired off poorly where Gauff fell way behind. However, she lacks the response & finishing needed to put the pressure back on Swiatek where Gauff was easily blown away by the World No.1 in the end. It’s her first grand slam final appearance, as there will be many more chances to savour if Gauff vows to come stronger for the next tournament at Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time.

And congratulations to Iga Swiatek with her 2nd grand slam championship since the 2020 French Open here. She just proved to be the top-ranked player out on-court today, who can deliver silverware, as she was too good for Gauff unchallenged from start to finish. It’s been another big moment for the 21-year-old from Poland today, having fell short in the semis by Danielle Collins at the Australian Open back in January before she took the World No.1 WTA ranking following Ash Barty’s retirement two months ago, and now won another grand slam with the No.1 on her side. Let’s see if she can dominate the next two Grand Slams at Wimbledon & US Open soon enough later this year.

2022 French Open Day 13: Marin Cilic’s brilliant opening set spell was cancelled by Casper Ruud’s comeback that decided the 2nd and final spot for Sunday’s Final

It was a fast and easy start from the 20th seed in Croatian Marin Cilic with the opening set lead. However, his momentum quickly went downhill when Casper Ruud from Norway fought back at 1-1 apiece after the break before Ruud pulled off further away from Cilic comfortably that secured his French Open final spot towards the finish line. The final score is 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Marin Cilic’s fairytale run has just came to an end. He got the ball rolling for a start with the early lead but then fell off a cliff ever since when he just couldn’t find the consistency to stay in this fight. Not only he was gutted to be held short while making some lost time during the next set, but he was blown away so easily through the 3rd & 4th sets that marked his exit out of the Final 4. It’s good to see him being back to his best though at age 33, having last made the grand slam finals back in the 2018 Australian Open where he was runner-up to Roger Federer.

And on Casper Ruud, take a bow as he will gear up for his first ever grand slam final appearance tomorrow v Rafa Nadal. He never looked out of place even though Ruud couldn’t bridge that gap to Cilic earlier in the first set. But it’s all about the finish where Ruud stood out as the better player from last night. The patience & response he saw right into Cilic’s game helped the Norwegian deny him a 2-0 lead, as well as tie at 1-1 before Ruud proved too good to wrap this up just under the three-hour mark.

2022 French Open Day 13: Rafa Nadal v Alexander Zverev semi-final tie came to an heartbreaking end over Zverev’s ankle injury

It wasn’t the ending we wanted to see when Alexander Zverev injured his ankle & retired hurt while trying to stop Rafa Nadal from winning the 2nd set. But this semi-final tie had to be wrapped up immediately as Nadal will advance to Sunday’s main event v Norwegian Casper Ruud at Court Philippe Chatrier. The final score was done just over three overs of play via walkover; 7-6 via 10-8 tiebreaker, 6-6.

Zverev fired off with the early headstart that helped him took advantage earlier in both sets ahead of Rafa. He also showed plenty of fight every time he tries go past set point but just couldn’t find the response & finishing needed to hold off his opponent, especially when after he chased the ball so hard but then lightning struck that sent him a huge blow to his ankle. We’re all gutted not to see Zverev continue playing where we send him best wishes with his recovery, before he hopes to come back sooner rather than later by going one better towards another grand slam final since the 2020 US Open.

And Nadal proved to be the better fighter with a brilliant response and execution that helped him pass Zverev through each set. He’s got so much patience with a close lens in Zverev’s natural game where not only Rafa cancelled his Zverev’s fast start, but he also held him back through the very end through another lifeline to close it out and he came out unscathed on top. Although it wasn’t a happy ending when his opponent injured his ankle, all Rafa did was to shake hands with respect before he moves onto the next challenge towards another possible grand slam title of 2022 tomorrow.

2022 French Open Day 11: Daria Kasatkina defeated Veronika Kudermetova ahead of her huge semi-final test tonight v World No.1 Iga Swiatek

Looking back earlier yesterday on Day 11 of the 2022 French Open, we also saw another brilliant Quarter-Final over in the women’s singles tie between Veronika Kudermetova & Daria Kasatkina. Both of them played really well when they were on the same page but it’s Kasatkina who came out on top in straight sets; 4-6, 6-7 via 5-7 tiebreaker.

Unlucky from Kudermetova after she was eliminated in the Final 8 with the loss there. She got the build-up base going that helped her stay ahead in this fight throughout the whole time. However, she lacked the finishing needed to shut down Kasatkina where she fell short twice before her opponent stood out as the better player in the end. It’s her first grand slam quarter-finals appearance after a series of 3rd round finishes before in 2021-22 at the Australian Open, as well as the 2019 French Open. Although she can’t play at Wimbledon this year including Kasatkina due to the organisers’ ban on Russian & Belarusian players, but she hopes to build on that breakthrough and enter Top 10-15 if it means regular grand slam Final 8 appearances.

And speaking of Kasatkina, she responded to Kudermetova’s brilliant start with the patience & fightback that helped

close in and eventually deny her opponent with the opening set lead. The way Kasatkina shown her persistence when continuing her battles against a tough opponent summed up her incredible comeback, as the executions got the best of her towards the finish line first via the tiebreak. She has all the skills and tools needed to prepare ahead of her first ever grand slam semi-final tonight, having tried failed to move past Final 8 twice before in 2018 here at the French Open and Wimbledon. Let’s see if she can upset World No.1 Iga Swiatek & secure another breakthrough for Saturday’s Women’s singles’ final against either Coco Gauff or Martina Trevisian.

2022 French Open Day 11: Holger Rune’s sensational run has come to an end as Casper Ruud books semi-final place tomorrow v Marin Cilic

The Final Four is all set for Day 13 tomorrow at the French Open; Rafa Nadal v Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud v Marin Cilic. Casper Ruud proved too good to pull off at the start while youngster Holger Rune isn’t an easy opponent to face when he made up some lost time from the opening set down. But it’s Ruud who responded well to Rune’s competitiveness when he denied him a 3rd set closer at the tiebreak followed by a win that sent the Dane out of the Quarter-Finals here at Court Philippe Chatrier. The final score is 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 via 7-2 tiebreaker. 6-3.

Well, it’s been a great run but it all has to come to an end from 19-year-old Dane Holger Rune. He responded really well from the opening set down where Rune showed lots of fight to try and keep his French Open campaign alive. However, the poor starts really let him down after he was easily blown away while he just couldn’t kick on when Rune fell short in the 3rd set before he was over and done by Ruud. It’s his first grand slam knockout appearance which is quite a remarkable achievement just under 20 years old. He’s sure to create many more moments including the moment when Rune gets to win his first grand slam title.

And job well done to World No.8 Casper Ruud from Norway with the win. He never looked out of place having fired off to a fast start; he also didn’t hesitate on the young Dane when Ruud lost the 2nd set before he held back Rune at the tiebreak & pulled off his way further towards the finish line. This tie was his first grand slam Quarter-Finals appearance as his brilliant run at the French Open continues into the Final Four tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if he can knock off Marin Cilic for a spot in the final this Sunday with either Rafa Nadal or Alexander Zverev.

2022 French Open Day 10: Coco Gauff too good against Sloane Stephens ahead of her semi-final tie tomorrow v Martina Trevisian

Looking back on Day 10 yesterday of this year’s French Open is the 2nd women’s quarter-Final tie also at Court Philippe-Chatrier in an All-American contest between youngster Coco Gauff v 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens. These two players played really well that went all the way in the opening set spell. However, it was Gauff who shut down Stephens’s 1st set resurgence before she proved too good to pull off in the end; 7-5, 6-2.

It’s not the exit Stephens wanted where she made up some lost time that helped close the gap towards a late chance to steal the opening set lead. Unfortunately, Stephens just couldn’t have the firepower needed to get past her QF opponent where poor starts gave her a lot of catch-up work before she fell way behind with no other way back ever since. This was her first grand slam Quarter-Final appearance since 2019 and her 3rd French Open finals spell here where she had a great run in the lead up beforehand on the clay surface. But she will need to continue building on that consistency if Stephens wants a fourth semi-finals grand slam appearance for the first time in four years at Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time.

And congratulations to 18-year-old Gauff with the win where she will face Italian Martina Trevisian in the semi-final tomorrow on Day 12. She was just outstanding against a player who has more experience alongside a US Open title in Sloane Stephens. The resilience and patience shown was there when Gauff fired off, responded and executed well with the opening set lead; she then went full on and extended her winning margin that sums up her easy afternoon in the office. It’s her first grand slam semi-final appearance as she will keep an eye on the other Quarter-Final matches today before her next big test tomorrow, especially when looking at potential final opponent in World No.1 Iga Swiatek from Poland.

2022 French Open Day 10: Rafa Nadal books his semi-final berth v Alexander Zverez after he defeated Novak Djokovic during a four-hour Quarter-Final showdown

What a match it has been after a gruelling four hours of play between Novak Djokovic & Rafa Nadal to close out Day 10 of the 2022 French Open. Nadal was too good to open this quarter-final account while Djokovic fought back in the 2nd set, even though it was a very competitive battle to tie 1-1 apiece. However, it’s Nadal who responded well to Djokovic’s fight with another easy 3rd set spell, before he denied the Serbian a 5th set lifeline that turned into his semi-final’s ticket for tomorrow v Alexander Zverev from Germany. The final score is 2-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 via 4-7 tiebreaker.

Djokovic was gutted not to make the Final 4 on his first grand slam campaign of 2022 at the French Open. He shown plenty of fight in a bid to stay in contention against a tough elite grand slam opponent, having responded well from the opening set down before Djokovic almost tied Nadal at 2-2 towards a possible 5th set decider. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t find a way to overtake Nadal for the lead, as well as the need to stay ahead, which ultimately cost Djokovic a semi-final berth.

And congratulations to Nadal after a hard-fought win v the reigning French Open champion. He fired off well very easily for a start with the opening set lead. Now Nadal may have fallen just short by a game or two in the 2nd set, but he’s so good at responding to this fight where he was too good in the 3rd set, cancelled Djokovic’s lifeline towards a possible 5th set decider & turned into a win of his own here under the lights at Court Philippe-Chatrier.

2022 French Open Day 9: Jessica Pegula comes from behind to a brilliant comeback v Irina Camelia-Begu in the fourth round ahead of her Quarter-Final match-up tomorrow against Iga Swiatek

We also saw another brilliant match-up over at Court Suzanne Lenglen in the 4th Round yesterday of this year’s French Open, but in the women’s singles draw between American Jessica Pegula & Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania. Begu did a great job shutting down Pegula following a very competitive battle that saw her lead the opening set. But it’s all about racing towards the finish line where Pegula proved too good to eliminate Begu, having tied 1-1 ahead of the 3rd set decider before she earned her spot in the Final 8; 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Begu would be disappointed not to advance into the Final 8 as her best grand slam finish is just outside any finals appearance so far for the third time since 2016 here. She fired off really well even though Pegula doesn’t give Begu an easier pass that secured the opening set lead from the Romainian but then the momentum dropped and couldn’t find a way to stay in this fight ever since. She’s 31 right now but there’s still some time left to improve if Begu wants to go one better and secure her first ever grand slam finals appearance at Wimbledon next month.

And what a rebound it has been from Jessica Pegula. Yes, she may have fallen so short during the opening set spell by a close two game difference, but Pegula just never gave up battling 100%. She credits the renewed momentum that helped her close in on Begu ahead of the 3rd set decider before Pegula pulled off comfortably with another Quarter-Finals appearance on top of the Australian Open so far this year. It’s also her first finals taste here at the French Open, but she will need to overcome World No.1 Iga Swiatek for the semi-final spot against either Veronika Kudermetova or Daria Kasatkina on Day 11 tomorrow.

2022 French Open Tennis, Day 9: Holger Rune upsets World No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas that earned him a spot into the Quarter-Finals

It looks like we have a new challenger ahead of the French Open Quarter-Finals v 8th seed Casper Ruud (Norway) in 19-year-old Holger Rune from Denmark, who upsetted World No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday on Day 9 during the fourth round at Court Philippe-Chatrier. The opening two sets was tight between the two competitors with Rune started off well for the early lead while Tsitsipas tied 1-1 apiece. But Rune was too good in the 3rd set before he shut the door on Tsitsipas following another series of close duels; 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Commiserations from Tsitsipas with the shock defeat there. He really put in his absolute best during every game that helped earned his way as a Top 5 grand slam player, even though he hasn’t won any titles yet so far. Tsitsipas had to work his way from the opening set down where he almost held Rune back which would’ve gone towards the 5th & final set decider of this tie. However, it wasn’t his day when Tsitsipas just couldn’t match the consistency & execution that Holger Rune offered in the end.

And congratulations to Rune who emerged himself as the next elite grand slam star in the making from Copenhagen, Denmark. He played an really exceptional game that tested him well against a player with plenty of grand slam finals experience. The strong starts are shown through each and every set, as well as the response to fight back from the 2nd set down, before he held off a really competitive battle right through the wire where Rune’s patience and fight helped knock down one of the current Top-5 ranked players in Tsitsipas. What a moment it has been from this rising star!