Rafael Nadal was the most dominant figure at a single Major in tennis history. The Spaniard won 14 Roland Garros titles in 18 trips to Paris, suffered just three defeats at his beloved tournament and remained competitive for nearly two decades.
Talking about his most desired Roland Garros final, Rafa picked the 2020 triumph over his biggest rival, Novak Djokovic. Nadal won the 13th Roland Garros crown in October 2020 and equaled Roger Federer’s record of 20 major titles.
Despite tough conditions and a powerful opponent on the other side, Nadal was ready to extend his reign in Paris. He overcame every obstacle and a roof over his head to claim a commanding victory and write history. Rafa’s 13th Roland Garros title came after a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in two hours and 41 minutes, securing Paris’ 100th victory in 102 matches!
Nadal has been broken eight times in seven games, and Djokovic hasn’t found the magic to come back to challenge the king of clay. Rafa had 31 winners and 14 unforced errors, controlling his shots well and stealing 51% of the return points to seize seven breaks from 18 opportunities and leave Novak behind.
Djokovic struggled to find his A-game for over two hours, spraying 50 unforced errors and failing to match Nadal’s pace in the opening two sets. Rafa destroyed Novak in the shorter range up to four shots and earned his win in that segment after they stayed close to each other in the more advanced rallies.
The Spaniard got off to a perfect start and took a break in the first game of the encounter when Novak’s backhand landed long.
Rafael Nadal has named the 2020 Roland Garros final as the most favorite.
Nadal grabbed another second leg at 2-0 to extend the lead and painted a crosscourt backhand winner at 4-0 to widen the gap.
Rafa held at 15 in game six to wrap up the opener with a bagel, the first in the Roland Garros final since 2008 when he did the same against Roger Federer! The defending champion earned two breaks in set number two and held at 30 in game eight with a service winner to build a 6-0, 6-2 advantage in an hour and 34 minutes.
They went neck and neck until 5-5 in the third after commercial breaks mid-set. Novak double faulted in that 11th game to lose serve and propel Rafa to the title after another fine hold from the Spaniard minutes later.
A year later, Djokovic beat Nadal in the semi-finals before the Spaniard exacted revenge in this year’s quarter-finals. “I played better and better during Roland Garros 2020, and I saved my best tennis for the final.
The match against Djokovic was one of my best performances in the title encounters in Paris, considering my powerful rival. It was a huge achievement for me and I was super happy,” said Rafael Nadal.