Billie Jean King after giving Rafael Nadal his 22nd Major trophy: 'It felt thrilling'

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Billie Jean King after giving Rafael Nadal his 22nd Major trophy: 'It felt thrilling'

Rafael Nadal claimed the 14th Roland Garros title last June. Thus, the Spaniard remained undefeated in the title matches in Paris, securing his 22nd Major crown and leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic further behind. The WTA legend and trailblazer Billie Jean King presented Rafa his 22nd Major trophy on Court Philippe-Chatrier, feeling honored and praising the Spaniard who continued to write new pages of tennis history.

Struggling with a foot injury, Nadal endured all the efforts at his beloved Major and regained the crown after losing it to Novak Djokovic a year ago. The Spaniard beat the Serb in the quarter-final after four hours and 12 minutes, making a comeback in the fourth set and sealing the deal in the tie break to avoid a decider.

Alexander Zverev pushed Nadal to the limits in Paris almost like no one before him. The second set was still on when they reached the three-hour mark, and the German had his chances in both. In the end, Nadal led 7-6, 6-6 when Zverev hurt his ankle and left the court in the wheelchair.

Thus, the Spaniard advanced into his 14th Roland Garros final, facing the first-time Major finalist Casper Ruud.

Billie Jean King presented Rafael Nadal with his 22nd Major crown in Paris.

Rafa did not miss a chance to extend his already rich trophy cabinet.

He notched a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory in two hours and 18 minutes for another brilliant run at his beloved Major. The Norwegian used a favorable draw to achieve a career-best result and become the first Major finalist from his country.

Still, he stood no chance against Nadal, who broke him eight times from 16 opportunities. Rafa fired 37 winners and 18 unforced errors and pushed the rival's backhand to the limits. The match kicked off with back-to-back breaks before Nadal grabbed another at 2-1 to forge his second lead.

They both served well in the remaining games, and Rafa closed the set with a service winner at 5-3. Ruud broke at love in the second set's fourth game following Nadal's errors and forged a 3-1 advantage. Rafa shifted into a higher gear and rattled off 11 consecutive games to topple the young rival and race toward the finish line.

The Spaniard produced a bagel in the third set and sealed the deal with a backhand down the line winner at 5-0 for his 14th Roland Garros trophy.

Billie Jean King Rafael Nadal Roland Garros