Two days after his 19th birthday, in 2005, Rafael Nadal won his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.
Two days after his 36th birthday, the Spaniard lifts the Coupe des Mousquetaires for a 14th time, taking his tally of Grand Slam titles to a record-extending 22. And his insatiable desire to win shows no sign of abating.
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“It is something that I have never believed. To be here at 36, being competitive again on the most important court of my career,” says Nadal, following a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Casper Ruud in the championship match. “One more title means a lot. It means a lot of energy to try and keep going… I don’t know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try and keep going.”
His 14 titles at Roland Garros equals the total number of Grand Slams won by legendary American Pete Sampras, an indication of just how dominant Nadal has been in Paris over the years. In moving past Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Ruud on his way to the title, Nadal becomes just the third player to earn four Top 10 wins at a Grand Slam since the Pepperstone ATP Rankings began in 1973.
ATP Tour contributed to this recap