French Open 2020: Nadal delights in Roland Garros 'love story', not Federer record

By Sports Desk October 11, 2020

Rafael Nadal brushed away talk of his record-equalling haul of grand slam triumphs as he focused on his Roland Garros "love story" after another French Open win.

Nadal thrashed world number one Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 to match Roger Federer's total of 20 men's singles titles at the tennis majors.

It was the Spaniard's 13th success on the red clay of Paris, raising his own benchmark further, and his long relationship with the crowd in France was at the forefront of the champion's mind.

"To win here means everything to me," Nadal said. "It's not the moment - honestly not for me - to think about the 20th, equalling Roger or this great number.

"For me, today is just a Roland Garros victory. Roland Garros means everything to me.

"I spent the most important moments of my tennis career here. I just want to say thank you very, very much to everybody here.

"For me, just to play here is a true inspiration. The love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable."

So dominant was Nadal's latest win on Court Philippe-Chatrier that he apologised to rival Djokovic, who had not lost a completed match up to this point in 2020.

"Congrats to Novak for another great tournament," Nadal said. "Sorry for today. In Australia, he killed me a couple of times ago. Today was for me.

"That's part of the game. We've played plenty of times together - one day one wins, another day the other. So all the best for the future, Novak."

Djokovic acknowledged he had been completely outclassed.

"I want to say a huge congratulations to Rafa and your team and your family, of course," the top seed said in his post-final speech.

"What you are doing on this court is unbelievable - but not just this court. Throughout your entire career, you've been a great champion.

"Today you showed why you're king of the clay. I experienced it with my own skin.

"It was a very tough match for me today - obviously I am not so pleased with the way I played - but I was definitely outplayed by a better player today on the court."

Related items

  • ATP Finals: Medvedev wants more Thiem tussles after revelling in one of his 'best victories' ATP Finals: Medvedev wants more Thiem tussles after revelling in one of his 'best victories'

    Daniil Medvedev expressed his desire for more matches against Dominic Thiem on the biggest stages after revelling in one of his "best victories" to become ATP Finals champion.

    The Russian won a thriller at London's O2 Arena, coming from behind to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to overcome an opponent who had defeated him in the semi-finals of the US Open.

    Medvedev and Thiem had beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively to reach Sunday's showpiece, which marked the last in the English capital before Turin becomes host to the Finals in 2021.

    The world number four had nothing but praise for Thiem, who went on to win the title at Flushing Meadows, when addressing his win after the match.

    "First of all, what a match. Maybe one of my best victories," the champion said.

    "I mean, two hours 42, three sets against an amazing player, Dominic congrats for what you achieved in your career, I think your name is already in the history books of tennis.

    "So, it's amazing, you won a grand slam this year. I mean, you're playing unbelievable. I hope we're going to have many more matches to come on the big occasions like this - semi-final of the US Open and final here - so congrats to you and your team. You're doing an amazing job."

    The respect was returned by Thiem, who was typically classy in defeat and reflected on a season that saw him make his major breakthrough.

    "Of course, I'm disappointed, but at the same time I'm also proud of the performance, of all the week," he said.

    "Daniil really deserves it. Amazing match, congrats for, in general, another great year as well.

    "Amazing month, November, with the Bercy [Paris Masters], title here and I hope we have many great matches to come. It was a pleasure today even though I lost.

    "And thanks also to my team for all the support - without the crowd it's even more important.

    "Thanks a lot, we had an unbelievable year as well. Thanks for taking care of me in all the bubbles and I can't wait for other great years with all of you."

  • ATP Finals: Medvedev roars back to beat Thiem in thriller ATP Finals: Medvedev roars back to beat Thiem in thriller

    Daniil Medvedev roared back from a set down to defeat Dominic Thiem and become the ATP Finals champion after a titanic tussle at the O2 Arena in London.

    Medvedev earned the biggest prize of his career in a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 triumph in the last final held in London before the tournament moves to Turin next year.

    It was a fitting end to the English capital's run as Medvedev produced a valiant fight back on the back of 37 winners to become the second Russian ATP Finals victor, becoming the first to defeat the world's top three players to do so in the process on Sunday.

    Medvedev, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, gains a measure of revenge for his last-four defeat to eventual champion Thiem at the US Open, with his Austrian opponent – a winner over Novak Djokovic on Saturday – losing the showpiece match for the second year running.

    Thiem staved off a break point with a huge ace in his mammoth first service game but there was little to separate two players in great form in a slog of a first set.

    In the end it was a costly lapse in concentration where Medvedev dropped five straight points on serve – one a glorious reverse forehand drop-shot from Thiem that preceded an ugly double fault for the break.

    Thiem, who matched his opponent with 12 winners in the first set, clinched the opener with a fortuitous net chord that brought a wry smile from Medvedev.

    Medvedev was more grimacing than smiling as he had to dig deep on serve in games five and seven, though, as the quality on display from both players increased.

    But the Russian held his nerve to force the breaker and, after losing the first two points, reeled off seven in a row to force the decider against Thiem.

    With the momentum shifting, Thiem survived from 0-40 in game three but – after saving a couple more break points – finally slipped behind at his next service game when an audacious backhand was followed by a clinical volley by Medvedev. 

    Thiem refused to yield and made his opponent fight for every point but a huge serve from Medvedev was unreturnable to leave the 2019 US Open runner-up celebrating.

     

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Medvedev – 37/30
    Thiem – 29/29

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Medvedev – 12/3
    Thiem – 6/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Medvedev – 1/9
    Thiem – 1/4

  • Tiley hopes 'summer of tennis' is finalised soon amid reports Aus Open may be pushed back Tiley hopes 'summer of tennis' is finalised soon amid reports Aus Open may be pushed back

    Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley hopes plans for the "summer of tennis" are finalised soon.

    Huge uncertainty continues to surround the expected first grand slam of 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Reports have suggested all lead-up tournaments could be moved to Victoria, while players are apparently being denied entry to Australia until January.

    On Saturday, reports said the Australian Open could be moved from its usual January start to either March or April.

    In a statement on Sunday, Tiley said works were continuing – but he appeared to suggest plans were for the event to be held in summer, which runs from December through February in Australia.

    "Tennis Australia is doing everything we can to finalise the summer of tennis as soon as possible," he said.

    "Our intention is to deliver a summer in conditions that allow the players to prepare and perform at their best and the fans to enjoy their efforts – all in an environment that is safe for all concerned.

    "We are working closely with the Victorian Government on a plan that takes into account the needs of the players, fans, our partners and staff, and is of major benefit to the Victorian and Australian economy.

    "We are continuing our urgent talks with local health authorities regarding quarantining and bio-security requirements and are confident we will have decisions soon.

    "Tennis Australia is acutely aware of the need for certainty, but also conscious of reaching a solution with the State Government that ensures the safety of the entire community.

    "We look forward to announcing our ticket on-sale date as soon as all arrangements with the relevant authorities are finalising and we have more information on crowd sizes. We anticipate this on-sale date will be within the next two weeks.

    "We can't wait for the summer and look forward to bringing you more details as soon as we possibly can."

    The Australian Open has started in January in every year since 1987.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.