Spaniard Rafael Nadal beat Serbian Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to win the 2020 French Open men’s singles title and his 13th title overall at Roland Garros. While tennis fans were anticipating a hard-fought match, this one turned out to be pretty much a one-sided affair with Nadal completely outperforming Djokovic at the Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris.
In winning this Grand Slam, Nadal also tied with Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer for the most number of men’s singles Grand Slam titles – 20. Nadal’s 20 titles include 13 French Opens, four US Open titles, two at Wimbledon, and one at the Australian Open.
In defeating the world number one comprehensively by playing flawless tennis in a match that lasted for two hours and 41 minutes, Nadal showed the world why he is called the King of Clay. Interestingly, this win was also Nadal’s 100th win on Parisian Clay.
“It has been a very tough year but a win here means everything to me. Today isn’t about 20th Grand Slam, for me this is about the French Open title. I want to thank everyone – the organisation, the crowd. For me playing here is important, the relationship I have with this city.. Merci!,” Nadal said after the win to a crowd that was restricted to just about 1,000 because of the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Huge congratulations to Rafa, your team and family. What you’ve done on this surface is.. Today you showed you’re King of the Clay. I am not pleased with how I played but I was overplayed. This situation is very tough and we’re grateful to everyone who made this tournament possible. Thank you so much for that,” Djokovic said after his loss.
There were a number of records that Nadal created in the process: he became the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win any tour-level event 13 times, surpassing his own and Martina Navratilova’s record. Also, this is the fourth time (French Open 2008, 2010, 2017, 2020) that he has won a major without dropping a set, overtaking Bjorn Borg’s record. Further, Nadal is the oldest French Open champion since 1972, and the more than 15 years between his first and most recent Grand Slam titles is the longest such span for a man.
Congratulations poured in from across the world for Nadal, which included a heartwarming message from Roger Federer, whose camaraderie with Nadal is very well known. Federer congratulated Nadal on this incredible feat, admitting how they have pushed each other to become better players.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) October 11, 2020
Australian tennis great Rod Laver also put up a message for Nadal.
Congratulations to the King of Clay @RafaelNadal. Winning 13 Slams in Paris is extraordinary, a fitting Grand Slam finale to a challenging year. You're an inspiration Rafa, gracious and great. Here’s to 20 majors. 🚀
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) October 11, 2020
Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar also left a message for Rafa.
To say Paris is your home away from home is an understatement, @RafaelNadal!
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 11, 2020
Here is another congratulatory message from Billie Jean King, one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
100 matches and 13 titles @rolandgarros.
And his 20th Grand Slam win! pic.twitter.com/qM72xsT4mG
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) October 11, 2020
The 34-year-old Nadal is really aging like fine wine. Do you agree?