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Nadal wins French Open, 20th men’s Grand Slam title

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) after winning Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. Photo: AFP

Rafael Nadal won the men’s singles final tennis match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the Philippe Chatrier court, on Day 15 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris French Open, on Sunday.

Nadal tied long time rival, Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles and for the most major singles tennis championships won by a man.

He also added to his own record at Roland Garros with No. 13 on the red clay, courtesy of a surprisingly dominant 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory over the No. 1-ranked Djokovic.

“What you are doing in this court is unbelievable. Not just this court — throughout your entire career, you’ve been a great champion,” Djokovic told Nadal during the trophy presentation. “Today you showed why you are King of the Clay.”

Nadal who ended it with an ace dropped to his knees, smiled widely and pumped his arms. 

It’s the fourth time he has won his favourite tournament without ceding a set.

“The love story that I have with this city, and with this court, is unforgettable,” Nadal said.

He deflected a question during the on-court post-match interview about catching Federer, saying his focus remained squarely on the French Open.

“Win here means everything to me, no? It’s not the moment, honestly … [to] think today about the 20th,” Nadal said. “Roland Garros means everything to me. I spent, here, the most important moments — or most of the most important moments — in my tennis career, no doubt about that.”

Federer who reacted to Nadal’s win on Twitter, congratulating his “greatest rival.”

“I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion,” Federer said in his post. “As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players. Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.

He said “I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it.”

Djokovic’s loss left him at 17 majors; had he won, the trio’s standings would have read 20-19-18.

Rafael Nadal became the fifth player, man or woman, to win 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

PLAYERMAJORS
Margaret Court24
Serena Williams23
Steffi Graf22
Roger Federer20
Rafael Nadal20

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.

This was the 56th instalment of Nadal vs. Djokovic, the most meetings between any pair of men in the professional era, and their ninth in a Grand Slam final, equaling Nadal vs. Federer for the most.

Djokovic had won 14 of the last 18 matchups against Nadal and led 29-26 overall, including a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win at the 2019 Australian Open final.

Abdullahi Lamino

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