Rafael Nadal downs Novak Djokovic to win 13th French Open and 20th Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal clinched an unprecedented 13th Roland Garros crown, and in so doing, equalled Roger Federer’s record haul of 20 Grand Slam titles with a straight sets, 6-0 6-2 7-5, victory over Novak Djokovic at the 2020 French Open. The Spaniard was simply unplayable as he once again confirmed his status as the undisputed ‘King of Clay’ with the world number one comprehensively outplayed.
Spain's Rafael Nadal kisses the Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) as he celebrates during the podium ceremony after winning the men's singles final tennis match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Philippe Chatrier court at Roland Garros
Published 11/10/2020 at 15:52 GMT | Updated 11/10/2020 at 17:37 GMT
Rafael Nadal moved level with Roger Federer as he won his 20th Grand Slam title in a stunning straight-sets victory over top seed Novak Djokovic at the 2020 French Open.
In equalling his great rival Federer’s record haul, the Spaniard was also crowned the champion at Roland Garros for an unprecedented 13th time after a blistering display of power hitting in the first indoor final in Paris with the roof closed on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The world number one was aiming to become the first man in the Open era to win each major twice and take his own Grand Slam tally to 18, but he was comprehensively outclassed by Nadal, who reminded the Serb that he is still the undeniable force in Paris.
In what was billed as a gargantuan showdown, the 34-year-old raced into a 4-0 lead with Djokovic doing very little wrong. Indeed, Eurosport commentator Frew McMillan declared it was “the best I’ve ever seen Nadal start a match”, such was his superhuman level early on.
Remarkably, it took 48 minutes for the Spaniard to bagel the world number one with a scoreline that belied the incredible rallies the duo shared, but reflected the surprising aggression and attacking play from the ‘King of Clay’ early on. It was the first time that the opening set of a Grand Slam men's singles final had been won 6-0 since Federer did so against Nadal at Wimbledon in 2006.
Watch Nadal BAGEL Djokovic in remarkable opening set
Djokovic belatedly got on the board after a staggering 55 minutes following a seemingly interminable deuce in which he still had to save three break points.
The top seed tried everything to arrest his gradual decline, but he could still only muster two games in a second set littered by his own unforced errors as Nadal simply refused to let his absurd level drop and assumed a commanding lead.
Djokovic may be the man currently ranked as the best player on the planet, but he simply had no answers for the Spaniard as he was broken decisively to love at 2-2 as any hopes of an epic resurgence faded swiftly.
Highlights: 'Unbelievable' Nadal beats Djokovic to win 13th French Open
The only occasion when the Serb has failed to break serve in a completed Grand Slam match was way back in 2006 against Lleyton Hewitt at the US Open and a repeat of that was belatedly averted as he staged a brief resistance in a topsy-turvy third set, but Nadal still had the edge to clinch the decisive breakthrough from 5-5.
"First of all of course congrats to Novak for another great tournament, sorry for today," Nadal said in his on-court interview.
"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.
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.
"This love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable."
It was a quite breathtaking triumph for Nadal: not only in equalling Federer’s tally and extending his unbelievable run at Roland Garros, but in putting his greatest current rival away in devastatingly convincing fashion.