Rafael Nadal exceeded Novak Djokovic onto their match as he took straight sets of 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, to claim the 2020 French Open title at the Roland Garros.
With only 14 unforced errors against World No. 1 Djokovic, Nadal extended his record as his 13th French Open title to add upon his signature on the specific event, keeping his undefeated streak in French Open semifinals and finals at 26-0.
This victory marks the World No. 2’s 100th match win at the French Open and earned him his 20th Grand Slam title, tying his rival Roger Federer for the men’s singles record.
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Federer was one of many players to congratulate Nadal publicly Sunday as he posted on Instagram.
“As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players,” Federer wrote, and ended with: “I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it.”
It’s quite strange for Novak Djokovic, being the best player in men’s tennis—by a significant margin throughout 2020, and It took until the second Sunday in October that he lost a match outright.
Djokovic suffered a 6-0 set at a major for just the fourth time in his career. Two of the previous instances came in 2005, when the 33-year-old was just a teen.
“It’s just one of these days where you have to just say, chapeau and well done,” Djokovic said, tipping an imaginary cap.
“Certainly I could have played better, especially in the first two sets,” Djokovic said. “But, you know, he did surprise me with the way he was playing, the quality of tennis he was producing, the level. I mean, he’s phenomenal. He played a perfect match, especially in the first two sets.”
In an on-court interview in front of 1,000 masked spectators, Nadal was reticent to talk about the significance of his 20th major title. He instead thanked tournament organizers for pulling off the French Open during a pandemic.
Later, he said he has always wanted to finish his career with the major-title record in hand — but not so much that he will let its pursuit rule his career.
“I’m not going to be thinking all the time Novak have this one, Roger is winning the other one. You can’t be always unhappy because your neighbor have a bigger house than you or a bigger boat or have a better phone,” Nadal said. “You have to live your personal life, no?
“Personally, that’s the things that I did during all my career, just try to follow my road, try my best every single day. In terms of these records, of course I care. I am a big fan of the history of sport in general. I respect a lot that. For me, means a lot to share this number with Roger, but let’s see what’s going on when we finish our careers. We keep playing. … At the same time to share this record between us, that we had an amazing rivalry for such a long time, is something in some way beautiful, I really believe.”
For me, honestly, one month and a half ago if you tell me you’re going to have this trophy with you again, I will say, ‘This year will probably be too difficult,’ ” Nadal said. “In the sport, the life change quick. I did the things that I had to do with the big support of my team. … Is great to have such great professionals and great human beings next to me to push me and to help me in those tough days, no? In some way today, playing at that level, is dedicated to all of them that helped me.”