It all ended as planned after two weeks of twists. Iga Swiatek won the women's singles after coming to Paris as the overwhelming favorite.
It was the legend's turn on Sunday, as Nadal won his 22nd Grand Slam and 14th French Open.
Should we have doubted Nadal's ability to win the men's singles? He was in the middle of his second home by late afternoon on Sunday, after he had won his third game in a row.
We have been scared at various times this year. He is more vulnerable than he used to be due to his foot injury, but it has held together for Grand Slams. He won the Australian Open earlier this year. He was talking about the possibility of retiring at the end of the year and that's when all this happened.
There were rumors on the morning of the final that Nadal was going to retire. He shut those down in front of the crowd.
Nadal said he didn't know what would happen in the future. I will fight to keep on going.
He used a lot of injections to numb the pain in his foot. It isn't a viable long term solution. He will go to the doctor next week to have the procedure done. If that doesn't work, Nadal will look at other options such as surgery or even retirement.
He said to do it step by step, like he did in his tennis career. That's the next step. Let's see what happens after that. Hopefully, it works well and I can take out some of the pain that I have. Let's see if I can continue for grass season if that happens.
2005 ⏩ 2022#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/BXhCQAIXO3— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2022
Generations are overlap due to Nadal's longevity. He defeated the man who trains at Nadal's academy in the final. He made the pilgrimage to watch Nadal in the final of the French tournament. Who better to learn from than the man himself? One way Nadal's record is counted is as a role model and the other is as an intimidating figure on the court.
There aren't many noises like the roar that greets Nadal when he's on the road. The connection he has with the clay has grown over time, but it still adds to the feeling of invincibility. His record of 112 wins to just 3 losses at the French capital adds to the aura.
One day, I hope I can tell my kids I played against Rafa on Philippe-chatrier.
Beyond Nadal's triumph, this fortnight will be remembered for Alcaraz's growing development and emergence as a future force, Alexander Zverev's retirement in the semifinals due to a sickening injury, and the return to the Grand Slam circuit of Novak Djokovic. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was farewelled after he lost in the first round.
There's a nice rivalry going on between the two men, as evidenced by the back-and-forth between them after their quarterfinals.
It all came back to Nadal. Swiatek found his ruthlessness on clay to be similar to his own.
"I remember last year when he lost in the semifinals, I met him the next day, and I said to him that I was crying the whole evening because he lost," Swiatek said. He was sitting and he said it was just a tennis match. You won and you lost. It's not unusual. You know, not everyone can do that and just treat those big moments like a match. That's amazing.
She was impressed by his trophy haul when she visited his academy. All 22 Grand Slams are represented in one way or another. Swiatek may be ready to take on his mantle as the foremost force on clay because of the gold-plated vision of dominance that she found appealing.
Swiatek's title was to be lost. She was the overwhelming favorite at the French Open and she delivered, dropping only one set to win her second Grand Slam title.
She felt the baggage. It's hard to not think about all the numbers and the odds.
The way she defeated Coco Gauff in the final of the French Open was ruthless and typical of her run at the tournament.
She spoke about the pressures of being No. 1 and how she manages it, but she didn't look nervous out on the court. In her fourth-round win over Qinwen Zheng, she had to shift her game plan to find answers, but she was able to do it in her own unique way, singing the song to herself.
It's all part of her unique nature, as she goes into her mode of constant competitiveness while off-court she's entertaining and amiable. She has talked about how much she loved the symmetry of the Palace of Versailles, how she breezed through Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" in a couple of days, and her five-song pre match soundtrack.
She was asked earlier in the tournament what her favorite part of tennis was, and she said she liked it. She said that she liked winning.
Over the last fortnight, we've seen the world's No. 1 grow into her own skin with honesty. She said that she was adjusting to that.
She thanked the performance psychologist she brought with her after she won the title. Swiatek was open about why she turned down the chance to watch the final because she was afraid it would distract her. It's something she might feel comfortable doing in the future, but not yet as she navigates life as the world's best player.
The women's side of the draw had an interesting few weeks. By the third round, Swiatek was the only one of the top 10 still standing.
Iga on point 💯#RolandGarros | @iga_swiatek pic.twitter.com/IiWkRVW5GJ— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2022
The previous chaos of the women's draw was caused by her. Her 35 matches in a row without a loss is equal to Venus Williams' record. Swiatek's crowning achievement was to overtake Serena Williams' record of 34 victories in a row.
She heads to Wimbledon as the clear favorite, with the likes of Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep and Serena Williams all interested in chasing her down.
Swiatek said that there is always something to be improved. I'm not a complete player. Even on the net, I could be better.
We don't know if Nadal will play at SW19, but Swiatek will be looking to make it two Grand Slams in a row.
Nadal said it's not about being the best. It isn't about the records. I like what I do. I enjoy playing tennis. I don't care about being the best or winning more Grand Slams than the others. If I can still play tennis. I'm going to continue. I'm going to do other things if I can't.
This era of dominance on clay will come to an end when that foot lets him down. His greatness will be remembered in highlights, photos and memories.
He's going to be a royalty here. A new era of clay-court supremacy could be about to start.