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Rafael Nadal's 5 quickest wins in French Open finals ft. Roger Federer and Casper Ruud

Rafael Nadal with Casper Ruud L) and Roger Federer (R)
Rafael Nadal with Casper Ruud L) and Roger Federer (R)
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Dr. Balraj Shukla

One falls short of superlatives when describing Rafael Nadal's tally of 14 titles at Roland Garros. Nadal stands tall as the winner of 22 Major singles titles, two more than his arch-rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard won his first Slam in 2005 at the French Open. Over the years, he has made the final of the Paris Major 14 times, winning on every occasion. The former World No. 1 has lost only three out of the 115 matches he has played at the claycourt Slam.

The Mallorcan has piled up 90 straight-sets wins at the French Open alone and has defeated all of the 74 opponents he has faced at least once. In the 14 finals he has played, he has faced eight different opponents. Interestingly, Nadal has never been stretched to a fifth set in the final of the French Open. The longest final that he has played in the event was against Novak Djokovic in 2012, which the Spaniard won 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in three hours and 49 minutes.

Nadal dropped only six games in the 2022 French Open final against Casper Ruud. Here's a look at where this match ranks amongst Nadal's quickest wins in French Open finals:

#5 Robin Soderling (2010)

2010 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling
2010 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling

In 2010, Rafael Nadal was the second seed at the French Open. Defending champion Roger Federer was the top seed but lost in the quarterfinals to Robin Soderling in four sets. Soderling went on to defeat Tomas Berdych in five sets in the semifinals.

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Third seed Novak Djokovic was in Nadal's half and a potential semifinal between the two players was on the cards. However, Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals to Jurgen Melzer. It remains the only match the Serb has lost after leading by two sets.

Just like in the previous rounds, Nadal did not drop a set in his win over Melzer in the semifinals.

In the final, the Spaniard defeated Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes, saving all eight break points he faced in the match.

#4 Casper Ruud (2022)

2022 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Caasper Ruud
2022 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Caasper Ruud

Nadal's 14th French Open title came in dominant fashion, as he dropped only six games in the final. En route to the title, he faced defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. After four hours and 11 minutes, Nadal won the match in four sets.

The Spaniard took on Alexander Zverev in the last four. After three hours, Nadal and Zverev did not even complete two sets. However, Zverev took a nasty fall at 7-6(8) 6-6, severing multiple ligaments in his ankle. The German had to retire mid-match.

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The Spaniard took on Ruud in the title clash. Out of the 141 points played in the final, Nadal won 86 of them. He won 44 return points and was able to create 16 break point opportunities against the Norwegian. He won the match in two hours and 18 minutes.

#3 David Ferrer (2013)

2013 French Open - Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer
2013 French Open - Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer

Rafael Nadal won claycourt titles at Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before entering the 2013 French Open. He was seeded third at Roland Garros and was a three-time defending champion.

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In the semifinals, Nadal faced Djokovic and played a five-set match that lasted four hours and 37 minutes. Nadal won the match to set up a clash with compatriot David Ferrer, who was yet to drop a set in the tournament.

However, Ferrer dropped three sets in two hours and 16 minutes as Nadal won his eighth Roland Garros and twelfth Major overall.

#2 Stan Wawrinka (2017)

2017 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka
2017 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka

In 2017, Rafael Nadal was the fourth seed at the French Open. Defending champion Novak Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals to sixth seed Dominic Thiem. Top seed Andy Murray lost in the semis in five sets to Stan Wawrinka, who made a second French Open final in three years.

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Nadal defeated Thiem in straight sets in the semis. In the final against Wawrinka, Nadal won 51% of the points on return and 83% on his first serve, hitting 26 winners. Nadal won the match 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and five minutes. He did not drop a set in the entire tournament.

#1 Roger Federer (2008)

2008 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
2008 French Open - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal faced each other in four consecutive years at the French Open from 2005 to 2008. Federer was World No. 1 on each of those occasions but Nadal won every time.

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In 2008, Federer produced arguably his worst performance in a Slam final. The Swiss maestro hit 47 unforced errors and landed less than 50% of his first serves. The Spaniard defeated the Swiss 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in just one hour and 48 minutes to win the final. He did not drop a set in the entire tournament.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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