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“I will remember this for the rest of my career”- Casper Ruud reflects on his heartbreaking French Open final loss against Rafael Nadal

Regardless of the outcome, Ruud said he will take nothing but good memories from the encounter.

Casper Ruud

After a year-long hiatus, the “King of Clay” reigns once more in Paris. Rafael Nadal claimed a record-extending 14th title at the French Open as he defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0. Casper Ruud had a few flashes of brilliance, but Rafa was just too good as usual. Nadal became the oldest player to win the French Open at the age of 36. It’s his 22nd Grand Slam as well.

The match lasted two hours and 18 minutes, and Rafael Nadal was able to defeat Ruud within that time. It’s worth noting that while Nadal has never played Ruud in a competition before, he has practised with him several times because Ruud is a student of the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain.

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“It was challenging because you are playing him”- Casper Ruud on his encounter with Rafael Nadal

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud, who has been training at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca since 2018 and admired Nadal as he was rising through the tennis ranks and reaching his maiden grand slam final, faced off against the maestro on Sunday at Roland Garros. But the 23-year-old was outclassed by Nadal in what was the first time the two had faced each other. Ruud saw the game slip away from him after taking a 3-1 lead in the second set and failing to register a game in the third set.

It was always going to be difficult for Ruud to face the King of Clay for the first time in a competitive match in his debut Grand Slam final, and it proved to be so. “I don’t think it really got to me until I stepped on court today and saw the full stadium and felt like the atmosphere in the crowd,” admitted the 23-year-old.

“It was a little bit, honestly, a bit tough to find myself too comfortable in the situation in the beginning, but 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. But it was worth a shot, and a good experience, for sure,” he added.

Regardless of the outcome, Ruud said he will take nothing but good memories from the encounter. “This match will be something I will probably remember for the rest of my career. There are certain moments I think for everyone’s career that you’ll remember more than others, so this one will be high up on my list, biggest match I ever played.”

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