Tennis

French Open | Nadal swats aside Djokovic to tie with Federer on 20 Grand Slams

Spain's Rafael Nadal kisses the Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) as he celebrates after winning the men's singles final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Spain’s Rafael Nadal demolished world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the French Open final to claim a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday.

With his record-improving 13th triumph at Roland Garros, world number two Nadal is now tied with Swiss Roger Federer as the player with the most men’s singles Major titles.

Nadal was the early aggressor as he choked Djokovic to win the opening set in brutal fashion having made only two unforced errors. He then kept a firm grip on a subdued Djokovic in the second set.

Brief rebellion

Djokovic, who was looking to win his 18th Grand Slam title, rebelled in the third set, breaking back for 3-3, only to drop serve on a double fault in the 11th game before Nadal went on to bag his 100th victory at Roland Garros with an ace.

“First of all of course congrats to Novak for another great tournament, sorry for today,” Nadal, who has now beaten Djokovic in all of their three French Open finals, said on court.

“In Australia (in the final in 2019) he killed me. We’ve played so many times, one day one wins, another day the other wins.”

Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays a shot during the French Open 2020 men’s final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, in Paris on October 11, 2020.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays a shot during the French Open 2020 men’s final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, in Paris on October 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill

The 34-year-old Nadal would not think of matching Federer’s mark.

“To win here means everything. I don’t think today about the 20th and equal Roger on this great number, today is just a Roland Garros victory and that means everything to me,” the world number two said.

“This love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable.”

When Nadal ended it with an ace, he dropped to his knees, smiled widely and pumped his arms.

Nadal, No. 2 in the rankings, improved to 100-2 at the French Open, including a combined 26-0 in semifinals and finals, and picked up his fourth consecutive title in Paris.

Previous streaks

The 34-year-old previously put together streaks of four French Open championships from 2005-08, then five in a row from 2010-14, to go alongside his four trophies at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open.

Nadal is now even with Federer for the first time since each man had zero Slams to his name in 2003. Federer’s first arrived at Wimbledon that year; Nadal earned his first in France in 2005.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 12:45:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/french-open-2020-tennis-tournament-mens-final-rafael-nadal-vs-novak-djokovic-in-paris/article32828284.ece

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