Sports | October 11, 2020 2:50 pm

Rafael Nadal Defeats Novak Djokovic, Wins 13th French Open

It's Nadal's 20th Grand Slam singles title

French Open Tennis. Roland-Garros 2020.
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Singles Final.
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

For some athletes, specific locations can be seen as hallowed ground — a space where even the best of the best turn in superlative performances. After today’s French Open men’s final, it’s probably safe to credit Roland-Garros with being that kind of a space for Rafael Nadal. Over the course of 3 sets, Nadal emerged victorious over Novak Djokovic.

The victory was Nadal’s 20th Grand Slam singles title — tying him with Roger Federer — and his 13th time winning the French Open.

A report on the match from The New York Times hailed Nadal’s quality of play, calling it “arguably Nadal’s finest performance at Roland Garros.”

Given Nadal and Djokovic’s recent history — Djokovic had won their previous 3 matchups in Grand Slam finals — Nadal’s victory at the French Open is even more impressive.

As the Times reports, this year’s tournament broke from the norm in a number of ways. The pandemic resulted in the French Open being postponed several months until the fall, creating markedly different conditions under which the competitors faced off. Other notable debuts this year included lights and a retractable roof.

The French Open final was the 56th time these two men have played one another; statistics show that they are very evenly matched. Currently, Djokovic has won slightly more matches — 29 to Nadal’s 27.

In his remarks after winning, Nadal spoke about his hopes for next year’s tournament. “I really hope that in a couple of months when we will be back here, hopefully in June, we will be able to celebrate this amazing, new, beautiful stadium with a full crowd,” he said. It’s safe to say that he was not alone in that sentiment.

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