Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday as he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the 2020 French Open men’s final to earn his 20th major title and 13th at Roland Garros. He is now tied with Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam victories by a man in the Open era (since 1968) and is just the fifth player — male or female — to reach the 20-major milestone.
It was a nearly flawless performance by Nadal, who needed just two hours and 41 minutes to dismantle the world No. 1 and earn his 100th win on the Parisian clay. It was the ninth career meeting in a major final between the two longtime rivals — and 56th clash overall — but one of the more lopsided results.
“Today you showed why you’re the ‘King of Clay,'” Djokovic said to Nadal during the trophy presentation. “I’ve experienced it in my own skin. It was a very tough match for me today. Obviously, I’m not so pleased with the way I played. I was definitely overplayed by a better player today on the court.”
Nadal didn’t drop a set during the tournament, and it marked the fourth time he won the title match at Roland Garros in straight sets. The 34-year-old Spaniard had just 14 unforced errors on the day compared to 52 for Djokovic.
The limited but lively crowd showed its adoration for the “King of Clay” following the match, and those watching from home were no different. Tennis legends, current players — including Federer and newly crowned women’s champion Iga Swiatek — and other athletes and celebrities from around the world showered Nadal in praise after his astounding display.
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I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion. As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players. Therefore, it is a true honor for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory. It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport. I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone. I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it.
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