Rafael Nadal Wins His 14th French Open, Becoming the Tournament's Oldest Champion Ever

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PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Musketeers’ Cup after winning Championship point against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men's Singles Final match on Day 15 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Musketeers’ Cup after winning Championship point against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men's Singles Final match on Day 15 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Andy Cheung/Getty

Rafael Nadal made history once again with his 14th French Open win.

The Spanish tennis pro, 36, defended his Roland-Garros record, while maintaining his men's Grand Slam record with his 22nd title, during Sunday's final against Casper Ruud of Norway (6-3, 6-3, 6-0).

"It's something I never believed," Nadal said after the match, according to ESPN. "Being here at 36, being competitive again, playing on the most important court of my career. Playing here one more time means a lot for me. I just want to say 'Merci beaucoup' to everyone here. I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'll keep fighting to keep on going."

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Additionally, he became the tournament's oldest champion, two days after celebrating his 36th birthday. Nadal's first French Open victory came in 2005 when he was 19.

The oldest person to have previously won a French Open was late Spanish tennis player Andrés Gimeno, who was 34 when he took the title in 1972.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men's Singles Final match on Day 15 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men's Singles Final match on Day 15 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Adam Pretty/Getty

Nadal is succeeded in his French Open record by Chris Evert, who won the title seven times, and he's followed in the men's Grand Slam record by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are tied with 20 wins each.

He won the French Open semifinals on Friday after his opponent Alexander Zverev injured his right leg during the match.

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Nadal, who is currently ranked No. 5 in singles, was recently sidelined for six weeks due to a rib fracture and has dealt with an ongoing foot injury since competing in the 2005 Madrid Open final, which forced him to end his 2021 season early.

"All the sacrifices, and all the things that I need to go through to try to keep playing really make sense when you enjoy moments like I'm enjoying in this tournament," Nadal said Friday.