Rafael Nadal in one his finest Slam finals beat Novak Djokovic and tied eternal rival Roger Federer at 20 Slam singles titles. Spanish second seed routed Serb ace and world #1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to bring home a record-extending 13th French Open title. Before the start of the COVID-19-hit Roland Garros there were questions about 34-year-old maestro’s form particularly after getting eliminated from Rome Masters, but he responded by giving Djokovic – unbeaten in 2020 – a master class of clay court tennis in the final.
Nadal from the start of the match dominated the Serbian who was throwing everything at him he had in his bag only to be overwhelmed by a despondent display. The defeat also stopped Djoker from getting his 18th Grand Slam title as he battles the duo (Federer and Nadal) to finish with the most major titles.
Nadal clinched the victory after two hours and 41 min with an out wide ace on his first MP, leaving the Majorcan phenomenon laughing as he fell to his knees on the court where he has been un matched for over a decade.
“A win here means everything for me,” said Nadal, who also became the first player to bag 100 singles match wins at Roland Garros.
“Honestly, I don’t think about the 20th and equaling Roger, for me it is just a Roland Garros victory.
“I have spent most of the most important moments in my career here.
“Just to play here is a true inspiration and the love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable.”
King of Clay
The added challenges the year, like playing in cooler weather than usual, heavy balls and an RG final under-roof brought the best of the Spaniard who attacked and defended ferociously and equally great effect as everything hit by him landed with pace and precision on the other side of the court. Such was perfection of his game that he gave just six unforced errors in the opening to sets. The unbelievable level in the first two sets in and that too in different conditions proved too much for Djokovic to redeem in the third as he stared the sky when Nadal started to make a few more unforced errors but this was too little to late. In a subsided frenzy, a subdued 17-time Grand Slam Champ admitted at the trophy presentation ceremony:
“Today you showed why you are King of the Clay, I experienced it with my own skin”.
“I am not so pleased with the way I played but I was definitely outplayed by a better player on the court,” Djokovic said.