13-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal meets first time major finalist from Norway Casper Ruud in the finals of the 2022 French Open on Sunday, June 5th. Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Casper Ruud match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Casper Ruud Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between both players on the tour.
Unfortunate Zverev Injury Mars Nadal Semi
Rafael Nadal arrived in Paris searching for his 14th French Open and 22nd major title. There was uncertainty around his fitness given the rib cage injury at Indian Wells that saw him miss the clay tournaments in April and then a foot injury in his quarter-final loss to Denis Shapovalov in the Rome Masters 1000.
If there were any questions that the five setter against Felix Auger- Aliassime in the fourth round put in the minds of fans and experts, they were all nullified by the vintage Nadal showing in his four set quarter final win against 2021 champion and current world number one, Novak Djokovic.
Facing Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals it was billed as one where the winner would be a strong favorite in the title round. Similar to Nadal, the German was also coming off an impressive quarter-final win against rising Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
Zverev was off to a flier breaking Nadal in the opening game and then serving big himself to be up 4-2 in the first set. Nadal clawed back to equalize with a break for 4-4 and had plenty of chances to close the set on the Zverev serve at 4-5.
Heading past the 80 minute mark, the match head into an opening set tiebreak where Zverev had four setpoints up 6-2 but then squandered all including one to a vintage Nadal passing shot on the run.
A back and forth tiebreaker finally ended with Nadal winning 10-8 to end a 97 minute first set.
Neither player looked like being able to hold serve early in the second set with continuous breaks of serve until Zverev held and had the opportunity to serve for the set at 5-3, but the age old double fault problems haunted the German who got broken yet again.
With the set headed into the tiebreak, Nadal ensured he did not have any blips at 5-6 and just as the set was tiebreak bound, Zverev rolled his ankle on the baseline and howled in excruciating pain to a deafening silence all around Philipe Chartrier.
Nadal and the authorities helped Zverev onto a wheelchair and into the locker room, but the German came back on crutches to concede the match in one of the more heartbreaking losses in recent tennis history.
Another Roland Garros final for Nadal but under far from ideal circumstances as he himself mentioned.
First Major Final For Ruud
Norwegian Casper Ruud had a strong clay season in 2021 and came into this season with plenty of expectations especially at the back of a runner-up title at the end of the hard court season in the Spring at the Miami Masters 1000.
However, the start of clay was not too successful for Ruud with disappointing early losses and it was only as recent as the Rome Masters 1000 that he hit good form losing out a well fought semi-final to world number one and eventual title holder Novak Djokovic.
Ruud followed this by defending his ATP 250 title in Geneva on the eve of the French Open.
The first rounds of the French Open were not too easy for the Norwegian with him fending off a four setter against Frenchman Joe-Wilfriend Tsonga playing his last match, followed by him coming back from two sets to one down against Lorenzo Sonego and then a four setter against Hubert Hurkacz.
The quarter-final against Holger Rune had all the drama it did on the court and off it but a four set Ruud win put him in the final four against Croat veteran Marin Cilic.
Cilic looked to continue rolling back the years as he did with wins over Medvedev and Rublev; and his huge forehands got him the first set in the semi-final.
However, it was all textbook clay court tennis from Ruud thereafter and the Cilic errors started leaking as the eighth seed scalped a four set win and a place is his first major final against his childhood icon and idol.
Nadal v Ruud Prediction and Tip
A very deserving major final for the Norwegian who has impressed on the clay in each of the last two seasons. However, he is up against the greatest ever on clay in his first major final in a setting only too familiar for Nadal.
It is too much to ask for a Ruud win here. Expect a well fought straight sets Nadal win for a 14th Roland Garros and 22nd major title.
The 2022 French Open will be played from May 22 to June 5. You can watch & bet on these matches here. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.
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