Casper Ruud after being ‘eaten alive’ by Rafael Nadal: ‘I can tell my grandkids I played Rafa on Chatrier’

Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud with French Open trophies

He admits he didn’t have answers for the questions posed by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final, but Casper Ruud is seeing his glass as half full.

Playing in his first Grand Slam final, Ruud came up short as Nadal brushed him aside 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 18 minutes to win a 14th title at Roland Garros to take his major tally to 22.

The Norwegian was always going to be up against and after losing the opening set, he had a moment of hope in the second set as he broke to go 3-1 up. However, Nadal won 11 games in a row to ease across the line.

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“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.

“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.”

He added: “It was tough for me to really know where I should play the ball because from both sides he has… two forehands because his backhand is also strong, even though it’s maybe a little bit weaker,.

“On the forehand he plays with a little bit of spin and kind of feels like you’re playing a right-handed forehand. I didn’t know exactly where to play there in the end and he made me run around the court too much.”

Despite the drubbing on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday, Ruud is seeing the lighter side of things and at least he will have something to brag about to his grandkids.

“I wish I could make the match closer and all these things, but at the end of the day I can hopefully one day tell my grandkids that I played Rafa on Chatrier in the final, and they will probably say, ‘Wow, did you?’

“I will say ‘Yes’. I’m probably going to enjoy this moment for a long time.”

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