Rafael Nadal won the French Open for the 14th time and the 22nd Grand Slam overall, breaking men’s records in both categories. Nadal defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to improve his record at Roland Garros to 112-3 since his first appearance in 2005.
The prize money for the 36-year-old Spaniard was $2.35 million (€2.2 million), bringing his career on-court earnings to $130.7 million, $100,000 ahead of Roger Federer and second all-time behind Novak Djokovic’s $156.5 million. Nadal is now two wins ahead of both of his Big Three rivals in the battle for the most career Slams.
Rafael Nadal wore a $2.5 million Richard Mille signature piece in the French Open final
Nadal is one of the few tennis players who wear a watch while competing, and it’s a $2.5 million Richard Mille signature piece. Since partnering with the Swiss watchmaker in 2008, the two have collaborated on a number of watches. However, Rafael Nadal’s RM 27-04 from the 2022 Roland Garros final has to be the best of them all.
The watch is made of TitaCarb, a revolutionary titanium and carbon combination that weighs under 30 g. That is incredibly light for a watch of this calibre, but it isn’t the most remarkable feature. It’s powered by a manually wound tourbillon movement and suspended within the case by a single 0.27mm steel cable. After that, the cable was wrapped to mimic tennis racquet strings. It’s a unique method of mounting the action, but it has a critical purpose.
The watch can resist up to 12,000G of force, ensuring that it keeps precise time even when Nadal’s serve is ferocious. When Rafael Nadal can hit a serve at 217 km/h, that’s critical (134mph). The RM 27-04, which was released last year and is limited to only 50 pieces worldwide, has a list price of $1,050,000. However, due to high demand, the watch’s current market price is around $2.52 million.