Rafael Nadal will eat you alive: Casper Ruud makes BIG statement after losing French Open final | Tennis News

Norway’s Casper Ruud said he had no answers when Rafael Nadal stepped up his game midway through the second set en route to a straight-set win on Sunday in the French Open final on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Ruud, in his first Grand Slam final, was 3-1 up in the second set but lost the following 11 games in a row, making just 17 points in the process, with Nadal prevailing 6-3 6-3 6-0 to take his Grand Slam crowns tally to a record-extending 22.

“Well, I wish I knew the answers too, but I got a cheap break of serve I think in the second set and was up 3-1, and of course wanted to get the match going and maybe try to win the set,” Ruud said in a post-match press conference.

“But then he stepped up and he showed that when he needs to he plays great. It was tough for me to really know where I should play the ball. When you are playing defensive against Rafa on clay, he will eat you alive,” Ruud added.

The 23-year-old, who on Sunday became the first Norwegian man to reach a Grand Slam final, is no stranger to his opponent’s game, having trained with him in Nadal’s academy in Mallorca.

Ruud admitted that taking on Nadal on clay court where the Spaniard has now won 14 from 14 finals was the hardest challenge he has faced in tennis.

“I said before the match that I guess it is,” he said. “But now I think I know it is. At least what I have faced. It’s really challenging and really tough. But I already knew it in a way,” said Ruud.

Ruud did show some moments of excellence, but Rafael as usual proved to be just too great. At the age of 36 years, Nadal became the oldest player to win the French Open title. It was also his 22nd Grand Slam and 14th French Open title.

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