Home SPORTSFOOTBALL One day tell my grandkids that I played Rafa on Chatrier in the final:Casper Ruud

One day tell my grandkids that I played Rafa on Chatrier in the final:Casper Ruud

by Kolkata Today

Casper Ruud knew what he would be up against when he faced Rafael Nadal for the first time on Court Philippe-Chatrier – perhaps better than most.

The 23-year-old Norwegian calls the King of Clay his childhood hero and one of his biggest inspirations in tennis, and as a fan, he’s celebrated many Nadal victories on the terre battue.
He’s also gotten to share the practice court with him several times while training at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
But all of that went out the window on Sunday afternoon, as the 36-year-old romped past Ruud in straight sets to lift a record-extending 14th Roland-Garros trophy.

Having been on the receiving end of the 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 rout, Ruud confirmed for himself what most in the sport already know to be true: defeating Nadal in five sets on Chatrier is still the toughest challenge in all of tennis.
“I said before the match that I guess it is, but now I think I know it is,” Ruud told media after the match. “So at least what I have faced, it’s really challenging and really tough. His numbers speak for themselves. He has never lost a final here, and there is a reason why.
“Like I said in the [runner-up] speech, I’m just another one of the victims that he has destroyed on this court in the final,” he added.

“It was the first time I have experienced [being] in this situation and play a Grand Slam final. I don’t think it really got to me until I stepped on court today and saw the full stadium and felt the atmosphere in the crowd,” Ruud revealed.
“It was a little bit, honestly, a bit tough to find myself too comfortable in the situation in the beginning. As the match went on, I tended to feel a little bit better and I could calm down and breathe out a little bit more.
But it was challenging because you are playing him, the most winning-slam player ever and on this court in the final… It’s not too easy.”
Rafa might rule in Paris once again, but Ruud was still upbeat after the crushing defeat. The Norwegian will depart Paris with a newfound self-confidence in his abilities, and will debut at a new career-high world No.6 when the ATP rankings are unveiled on Monday.
More importantly, Ruud said, he’ll also walk away with unforgettable memories of a dream Roland-Garros final played against his greatest hero.

“Of course, I wish I could make the match closer and all these things,” he reflected. “But at the end of the day, I can hopefully one day tell my grandkids that I played Rafa on Chatrier in the final. They will probably say, ‘Wow, did you?’ I will say, ‘Yes’.
“I’m probably going to enjoy this moment for a long time,”Casper Ruud said.


French Open  Rafael Nadal Casper Ruud Tennis Sports Kolkata

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