4 min read
Over the weekend, Rafael Nadal (UTR Rating 16.19) and Iga Swiatek (13.39) capped off impressive fortnights to leave Paris as the 2022 champions. Both finals were one-sided as Nadal dismissed Casper Ruud, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 while Swiatek subdued Coco Gauff, 6-1, 6-3.
Universal Tennis INSIGHTS boosted our coverage of all of the action, correctly predicting Swiatek as the favorite to win the women's title, and placing Nadal in the Top 3 along with Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.
Swiatek Extends Win Streak
Swiatek won Roland Garros in 2020 unexpectedly as the first Pole to win a singles major and the lowest-ranked champion since the WTA rankings began. This time around, Swiatek was the top seed and heavily favored.
The 21-year-old Pole dropped just one set during the clay-court Grand Slam and came out in Sunday’s final in perfect form. She jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back as the 18-year-old Gauff tried to settle into her first Grand Slam final. Swiatek needed just 69 minutes to capture her second Roland Garros crown.
"Just with everything that was going on, I'm also like more aware of how it is to win a Grand Slam and what it takes and how every puzzle has to come together and basically every aspect of the game has to work,” Swiatek said. "With that awareness, I was even more happy and even more proud of myself, because in 2020 it was all, I just felt that I'm lucky, you know. This time I felt like I really did the work.”
The World No. 1 has extended her win streak to 35 matches and has more than 4,000 more points than Anett Kontavei, who is ranked No. 2 in the WTA rankings. Her UTR Rating is +0.29 ahead of Ons Jabeur, who is No. 2 highest-rated female in the UTR Pro Tennis Tour rankings. Next up is the grass-court season with just three weeks until Wimbledon begins.
Gauff became the youngest Roland Garros finalist since 2001 and didn't drop a set until the final.
Nadal Cruises to No. 22
Nadal needed just 2 hours and 18 minutes to secure his 14th Roland Garros and record-extending 22nd major. He had never faced Ruud before, despite Ruud becoming a clay-court powerhouse on tour (seven of his eight ATP titles have come on clay).
The 23-year-old Norwegian had his chances in the second set when he went up 3-1, but then Nadal raised his level to reel off 11 games in a row. Still, Ruud is the first Norweigian to reach a Grand Slam final.
Nadal insists it's not about the records.
"Well, is very simple to understand for me," Nadal said. "I don't know, sometimes for you it's a little bit different. It's not about being the best of the history. It's not about the records. It's about I like what I do. I like to play tennis and I like the competition."
Nadal, who turned 36 on the same day as his semifinal against Alexander Zverev, has been struggling with a foot injury that has required injections. He's not sure what his future holds but hopes to play Wimbledon.
"For me, what drives me to keep going is not about the competition to try to be the best or to win more Grand Slams than the others," he said. "What drives me to keep going is the passion for the game, live moments that stay inside me forever, and play in front of the best crowds in the world and the best stadiums."
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 8 a.m. EST, June 6, 2022.