“The first thing I want and the most important thing is to congratulate Rafa. It’s your 14th title and the 22nd Grand Slam. We all know the champion you are. I’ve felt what it’s like to play against you in the final. It’s not easy, but I’m not the first victim, there were many before (laughs).” Casper Ruud assured as soon as he took the microphone at the Philippe Chatrier in Paris.

The Norwegian was very affectionate with his executioner: “I want to thank your family and your team who welcomed me with open arms at your academy.” Ruud, of course, also thanked his team: “I also want to thank my team for the long way we have come, hopefully we can play more Grand Slam finals.”

Finally, he thanked the treatment received by the stands: “I want to highlight the incredible atmosphere and the support that I have received from the public in Paris and more after everything we have experienced with the pandemic, to enjoy this again with so many people present is something great. And to the organization of the tournament. I promise to be able to speak in French in the future.”

In the subsequent press conference, Ruud spoke about the greatness of his rival. “His numbers speak for themselves. He has never lost a final here, and there is a reason,” he said before explaining what it means to face the Balearic. “It was a challenge, because you’re playing against him, the tennis player with the most Grand Slam wins in history, and on this court (Chatrier), in the final. It’s not easy at all”. Casper acknowledged that he didn’t know “where to play.” “He made me run too much.”