Roland Garros 2022: Victoire des deux favoris

I’m late here, but sitting in 33 degree heat with an array of alcohol means I don’t care too much. Plus frankly, the tournament wasn’t exactly memorable was it? Think back to recent majors; Nadal moving ahead and Barty’s homecoming triumph in Oz, Raducanu and Medvedev rewriting the script in NYC. What did we have here? In short, the favourites triumphed at a canter.

Nadal’s 14th French Open is of course astounding, in a sport in which – more than most – previous ‘unbeatable’ records have duly been shattered, one feels that this one really will be forever. And we should savour the Spaniard’s craft on the clay, for it is here where his game is actually aesthetically pleasing and to put it bluntly, where it belongs.

The Djokovic QF was where the tournament was clinched in effect for Rafa. With Alcaraz out of the picture it was always going to be that way even with poor Sasha Zverev’s excellent efforts before his horrific exit. As good a tournament as Casper Ruud had had, the non-contest that was the final was a sure thing.

Similarly for Iga Swiatek who rightly came here as overwhelming favourite, and it was a relieved tennis populace who welcomed Coco Gauff at last [yes at 18] to her first major final, but again we all knew what would happen once there. The American was overwhelmed by the occasion as is so often the case, but she will be back and if against a different opponent, she may actually be given a chance to find her rhythm and deadly game.

Our victors are the best of the best for now, not only on this surface but on their respective tours. And despite the grass now in full swing and with it a likely halt in their dominance, that is surely only to be temporary.

Gladiators, we salute you!

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