Rafael Nadal after winning the 2020 Roland Garros, Paris, France
Rafael Nadal after winning the 2020 Roland Garros, Paris, France | (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Tennis | Roland Garros 2020 | “We keep playing” – Lucky 13 for Nadal puts him level with Federer on Slams won

  • Rafael Nadal [2] def. Novak Djokovic [1] 6-0, 6-2, 7-5
  • Nadal wins a 13th Roland Garros title, and now levels with Roger Federer on 20 Slam titles
PARIS, FRANCE – Rafael Nadal outplays Novak Djokovic to claim a 13th Roland Garros title and a 20th Slam title overall, equalling Roger Federer.


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The Match

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The weather had the last laugh on Novak Djokovic as even with the roof on (a condition that has favoured him in the past) it just provided an overall shelter to the barrage of shot-making that he faced from Rafael Nadal.

From the start, throwing in drop shots wherever he could, Nadal bullied and pummelled his way through every Djokovic trick in the book as he bagelled the World No. 1 in 46 minutes

The second set really was not much better for the Serbian, as he was broken twice more, although at least his first serve percentage was on the up after a disastrous first set where it was decidedly left in the locker room.

The third set started competitively enough, and it looked for a fraction of a second that this might be the start of something for Djokovic, but a break to love put Nadal firmly back in the driving seat.

It took what felt like a monumental effort for Djokovic to get a first break of the Nadal serve to get things back on an even keel, and for the first time in the match, Djokovic let out his emotions having seemed a little flat throughout, to this point.

That slight flurry of resistance was quickly stamped out with a Nadal and a serve to love to seal a 13th Roland Garros, but more importantly Nadal now ties with Roger Federer on 20 Slams each.


Nadal: “We keep playing”

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Given that Djokovic had come into this match with a winning record in 2020 for every match he had completed, it was a brutal beat-down, even by Nadal’s standards.

After the match, he said: “I played at an amazing level of tennis, no? For two sets and a half I played great. I can’t say another thing. Is impossible to have this score against him without playing great.

“I played at my highest level when I needed to play at my highest level, so something I am very proud. The personal satisfaction is big because under the circumstances that we played this Roland Garros, even if I played an amazing match this afternoon, the conditions are a little bit not the conditions that I will choose, never, to play an event like this.

“I just tried to work every day with the right determination, looking for my goals. I think is one of the Roland Garros that have a better personal value for myself.”

He has always shied away from the magic number 20, certainly during this tournament, but now at least he could enjoy joining Federer in a select club of Slam winners in the Open Era, together with Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.

He said: “I never hide that for me, I always say the same, that I would love to finish my career being the player with more Grand Slams. No doubt about that, no?

“I have to do my way. I did my way during all my career. Worked well. I’m not going to be thinking all the time Novak have this one, Roger is winning the other one. You can’t be always unhappy because your neighbour have a bigger house than you or a bigger boat or have a better phone. You have to live your personal life, no?

“Let’s see what’s going on when we finish our careers. We keep playing.”