Yesterday, the men’s singles French Open final took place in Paris, France. Anticipation was sky-rocketing as world’s number one and two, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal respectively, battled for the Grand Slam championship. It was quite possibly Nadal’s finest performance at Roland Garros, overwhelming the world’s No.1, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, to equal current world No.4, Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Previous to this victory, Nadal had already won 12 Grand Slam singles titles on the same rectangle of red clay.
Nadal was in great focus from the opening game, breaking Djokovic’s serve under the closed roof at the Philippe Chatrier Court. Nadal, 34 years old but still an irresistible force, ripped groundstrokes with depth and purpose, hunted down drop shots, read Djokovic’s mind and serve, and kept his unforced errors to a strict minimum (making only two in the opening set and 14 in the whole match).
Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion and one of only two men to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, defeated Nadal in their last three Grand Slam matches. Most recently was the 2019 Australian Open final, where Djokovic overwhelmed Nadal, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, in what Djokovic still maintains was the finest performance of his career. But, that match took place on a hardcourt, Djokovic’s best surface, at the major tournament he has won most often. Sunday’s payback came in Nadal’s kingdom.