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French Open: Men's Final Preview

With the Australian Open already under his belt this year, Rafael Nadal is targeting another major title in the form of the French Open when he takes on Casper Ruud in Sunday's clay-court final in Paris.

A 13-time winner of the French Open, Nadal can be backed at 2/11 to win the final, while talented Norwegian Ruud is a currently a 4/1 outsider to claim his first ever Grand Slam title.

What: Rafael Nadal v Casper Ruud, men's French Open final

Where: Paris

When: 2pm, Sunday 5th June 2022

How to watch: Eurosport 1 or bet365 live stream

Odds: Rafael Nadal 2/11, Casper Ruud 4/1

Nadal out to make history again

Legend Nadal defied all expectations at the start of the year when he triumphed at the Australian Open, despite missing most of 2021 through injury.

That title in Melbourne put the Spaniard ahead of both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in terms of Grand Slam men's singles titles won with 21 and he can extend that record with victory in this weekend's French Open final.

He also leads the way by some distance in the men's French Open titles tally with 13 already secured and the odds suggest the 'King of Clay' will make it 14 on Sunday.

Nadal's clay-court preparations were limited this season but he ousted Felix Auger-Aliassime in a gritty five-set thriller before overpowering an improving Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

His place in the final was secured when Alexander Zverev was forced to retire with an ankle injury in his semi-final match but it should be noted Nadal was one set up anyway with the second set level at 6-6.

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Ruud ready for first ever Grand Slam final

While it is easy to get carried away with how good Nadal has been this season, 23-year-old Ruud is also playing some of the best tennis of his career.

Ruud picked up five ATP titles in 2021 and has looked like a dangerous operator on clay in the last month or so.

The first Norwegian to ever reach a Grand Slam singles final, Ruud enjoyed a decent run to the semi-finals of the Italian Open before winning the Geneva Open title building up to the second major of the season.

He has claimed some big scalps in the form of Hubert Hurkacz and Marin Cilic on his way to his maiden Grand Slam final, having come from 2-1 down in the third round of the tournament against Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

His baseline play is strong and he will do his best to neutralise the legendary threat of Nadal, who he has never encountered before.

Plucky Norwegian will not give up without a fight

Ultimately, given the gulf in experience between these two players, especially in the French Open, it is hard to side with Ruud entirely, but the Norwegian can at least make life tough for Nadal, who insists he has had a niggling foot issue this year.

Nadal has dropped sets in his last two matches against Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime and was also being pushed close in his second set with Zverev before the German retired.

Therefore, Nadal to win and both players to win a set makes plenty of appeal at 6/4, whilst punters may also consider backing the match to go to four sets at 15/8.

A clean sweep by Nadal can be backed at 1/1, whilst a 3-0 win for Ruud, which would be a gigantic shock, is currently available at 16/1.

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