Rafael Nadal's sweet Roland Garros success may be bittersweet

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Rafael Nadal's sweet Roland Garros success may be bittersweet

On his 36th birthday, the iconic 'King of Clay', Rafael Nadal witnessed his opponent Alexander Zverev suffer with a twisted ankle at the 2022 Roland Garros semifinal. It was physically devastating for Zverev and emotional for Nadal, but the Spaniard knew there was one more round to this glorious French Open which would be his 14th Roland Garros if he'd win.

The Spaniard's championship match was with Norway's Casper Ruud. This was the 8th ranked player's first career slam final. Nerves might have had a huge part in the Norwegian's being crushed by the iconic Spaniard.

Ruud put forth a good try despite losing in three straight sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. The trophy ceremonies were nicely done and meaningful short speeches said by each player. Ruud treatedit as a learning experience and said to Rafa that "Everyone knows how much a champion you are...I'm not the first victim..."

with this comment were laughs throughout the stadium crowd. Ruud might have felt as though his presence on the court was merely physical because Nadal served his performances as a master class against Ruud. He went through his strategies manuevers of opening up the court, volleying, painting the line and every skill in the textbook to (if it appears) easily defeating his Norwegian opponent.

Underlying Nadal's expert performance there was much suffering by the Spaniard on his foot ailment causing him to concentrating on his future tennis life. "I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'm going to keep fighting," Rafa had said dryly to the crowd.

He revealed during the press conference afterwards that "I was able to play for these two weeks...I have been playing with an injection on the nerves to sleep the foot and that's why I was able to play these two weeks..."

he confessed. Things had gotten funky throughout the two Roland Garros weeks with recurring injuries, tiredness and players exhaustion just from the travel and playing throughout the matches. Nadal has said that "The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy...to compete at the highest level..."

he frankly told the media. He wants to put in a great performance but playing constantly has taken a toll on his body. After the French Open Final, he will pack his rackets, withdraw from Wimbledon and the Olympics at Tokyo he's said numerous times.

Sometimes less is more (better) and Nadal has won Wimbledon twice and as for the Olympics, was a grateful and happy competitor. He's won two gold medals in singles at the 2008 games in Beijing. Rafa has also won in doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Marc Lopez.

The Spaniard freos that he's did every tournament and Grand Slam possible and that when he withdraws from an event, he is not missing a first chance to be awarded that title. If he'll give Wimbledon and the Olympic Games a miss, this may be beneficial in the long run.

The Spaniard commented that "..after listening to my body and discuss(ing) it with my team it is the right decision." It might be quite selfish to want Nadal's presence at every tournament but sometimes these things can't be accomplished.

The beginning of the championship match, nadal was dominating and not struggling to make his shots. The Spaniard's footwork and strategies were there on point. Ruud just couldn't contain Rafa from making winning strokes so he won the opening set 6-3 and continued on with the second set.

As time went on things got better for Nadal and not much better for Ruud. He might have been mystified of the crowd and being at his first slam final. Despite the Norwegian's loss of the second set 6-3 and receiving a bagel 6-0 in the last set, he was just glad on what he could accomplish at this slam clay court championship.

"I enjoyed every bit of it, he had said with a big grin. Everything was finishing and Nadal, the last of the big 3 players performing on the competitive court felt satisfied to have been able to comlete the slam and win, too.

After capturing his 14 French Open titles and 22 grand slam crowns, Nadal stood up on the podium at the closing ceremonies a bit overwhelmed by it all. The Spaniard has proved his past and has a well rounded accolade of present crowns.

As for his future, it's become a bit blurry. All he could say smilingly on accepting his tropy is "It's very difficult to describe the feelings that I have."