Nadal Beats Djokovic at French Open to claim Record-Tying 20th Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal at the 2019 US Open Tennis Championships. Photo by Ella Ling/BPI/Shutterstock (10402856co)

Rafael Nadal is the undisputed “King of Clay,” and he showed that once again at the 2020 French Open. Nadal faced the world’s No.1 Novak Djokovic in the tournament’s finals on Sunday and got a dominant 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 win to claim his 20th, record-tying, Grand Slam.

Although he caught up to Roger Federer in terms of Grand Slam wins, Nadal wasn’t focused on that achievement. Instead, he embraced the fact that he won his 13th Roland Garros, more than anyone ever by a large margin, and that he did it without surrendering a single set in this year’s run.

“[To] win here means everything to me, no? It’s not the moment, honestly … [to] think today about the 20th,” said Nadal after the match. “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.”

It sounds almost unbelievable, but Rafael Nadal owns a 100-2 record at French Open and is 26-0 in semi-finals and finals. His only two losses came in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round, and in 2015, when eventual champion Stan Wawrinka eliminated him in quarter-finals. The only other time that Nadal participated at Roland Garros but didn’t win was in 2016 when he had to withdraw due to wrist injury.

Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, remained at one French Open win and 17 Grand Slams. This was only his fourth loss to Nadal in the last 18 matches. Djokovic still holds a 29-27 head-to-head record.

“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.”