This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
There were 128 men vying for the French Open title when the fortnight began, but just two are still standing on Championship Sunday. One has been here many times before while the other finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Rafael Nadal overcame a difficult draw to pull within one match of winning this tournament for a 14th time. The king of clay has one more obstacle in his way, and that's eighth-ranked Casper Ruud. Nobody has won more clay-court matches or tournaments than Ruud over the past couple years, but this is the first time the 23-year-old Norwegian has been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam, let alone in the final. Odds for the Roland Garros men's singles final were taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
At age 36, Nadal's no longer quite as dominant on this surface as he was in his prime, when he would seemingly chase down every ball while navigating the draw with nary a difficult match. He still has enough game to beat any opponent on any given day, though, especially on his beloved clay. Nadal worked through a five-setter against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Round of 16 and then exacted revenge on Novak Djokovic for last year's defeat here by winning a lengthy four-set quarterfinal. His semifinal against Alexander Zverev was shaping up to be a classic until Zverev injured his ankle late in the second set. After all of the injuries that have plagued Nadal over the years, he was due for some beneficial injury luck, even if this isn't the way he would have wanted to get here.
Ruud has had to battle to get to this point, needing four sets in four of his matches and five in another while winning in straight sets only once, way back in the second round. This will be the first head-to-head meeting between Ruud and Nadal. Ruud has eight career titles, and all of them have come on outdoor clay. He won Geneva heading into Roland Garros and is riding a 10-match winning streak, but Ruud hasn't faced a top-10 opponent during this stretch.
Prediction: Nadal gets off to a hot start while Ruud settles the nerves and Rafa holds off Ruud's comeback bid for a four-set win; 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.