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French Open: Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic to clinch title, equals Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams

This was the third time Nadal beat Djokovic at Roland Garros in Paris to secure the title. Nadal, 34, claimed his 100th match win at Roland Garros against just two defeats since his 2005 debut.

October 11, 2020 / 09:51 PM IST

Spaniard Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets to extend his unbeaten run in French Open finals, winning his 13th tournament at Roland Garros.

The historic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 win was also a historic 20th Grand Slam title for Nadal, tying Roger Federer's record for the most men's singles crowns.

This was the third time Nadal beat Djokovic at Roland Garros in Paris to secure the title. Nadal also bettered his head-to-head against the Serbian World No. 1 in Grand Slam finals, now trailing 12-15.

Nadal, 34, claimed his 100th match win at Roland Garros against just two defeats since his 2005 debut.

The Spaniard, the oldest champion in Paris since Andres Gimeno in 1972, claimed the title without dropping a set.

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He finished the one-sided affair with just 14 unforced errors to his opponent's 52.

"Congrats to Novak for another great tournament. Sorry for today. We've played plenty of times together - one day one wins, another the other," said Nadal.

"After all the things I have been through in my career with injuries, I could not have done it without my family."

Nadal said he wasn't even thinking about matching Federer's record.

"It's been a very tough year. Winning here means everything to me so it's not about equalling Roger on 20, for me today it's just a Roland Garros victory.

"Roland Garros means everything to me. I spent most of the most important moments of my tennis career here.

"Just playing here is a true inspiration. The love story I have with this court and city is unbelievable."

The 56th meeting between the world's top two started under the roof of Court Philippe Chatrier, intensifying the echo of a crowd limited to 1,000 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Conventional wisdom suggested that would favour Djokovic but nobody told Nadal who broke three times in the 45-minute opening set.

The Spaniard hit 10 winners and just two unforced errors.

Djokovic's error count was 13 with the out-of-sorts Serb even squandering three break points of his own in the fourth game.

More worrying for the world number one -- Nadal improved to 111-0 when winning the first set of best-of-five matches on clay in his career.

It was the first opening set 'bagel' in a Roland Garros final since 2004 when Gaston Gaudio recovered to defeat Argentine compatriot Guillermo Coria in five sets.

Djokovic finally got on the board with a service hold in the first game of the second set but Nadal maintained his relentless push, going to a double break for 4-1 as even the Serb's usual deft touches on the drop shot deserted him.

Nadal wrapped up a two-set lead with his unforced error count at just six to Djokovic's 30.

Nadal broke for the sixth time for a 3-2 lead in the third before Djokovic suddenly restored his reputation as the sport's best returner by carving out his first break of the afternoon for 3-3.

However, there was to be no miracle recovery as a double fault handed Nadal a 6-5 lead and he took the title with an ace.

(With inputs from AFP)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 11, 2020 09:38 pm

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