Rafael Nadal’s journey to greatness - watsupptoday.com
Rafael Nadal’s journey to greatness
Posted 12 Oct 2020 12:04 PM

12-10-2020

For a decade and a half, Nadal has turned winning at Roland Garros into a repetitive– even ordinary!– act. But even for Nadal, everything about Sunday was extraordinary: from his straight sets decimation of the world No. 1 (including a first set bagel), to recording his 100thwin in this tournament to winning a 13thFrench Open title.

Far from what has now become the convention after he wins a French Open, Rafael Nadal did not slip on to his back and cake his soaked tee with Parisian clay. Instead, he simply lowered himself to his knees and laughed, hysterically and triumphantly, into his taped palms. Beyond the net, Novak Djokovic could only shrug.

For a decade and a half, Nadal has turned winning at Roland Garros into a repetitive even ordinary! act. But even for Nadal, everything about Sunday was extraordinary: from his straight sets decimation of the world No. 1 (including a first set bagel), to recording his 100thwin in this tournament to winning a 13th French Open title.

But on Sunday, history pegged itself on an even more significant number–20. With the help of his immaculate fortnight in Roland Garros, where he didn’t drop a set, Nadal tied Roger Federer for the most Grand Slams in men’s tennis, tastefully setting up the finish to this incredible era. “For me today is not about equalling Roger or twenty,” Nadal said with usual modesty. “Today is about the French Open, it means everything to me.”

It could be argued that Djokovic had almost as much as riding on this final. Had he won, he would’ve become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the Grand Slams twice. But for that, he had to become the only human to defeat Nadal twice in Paris. But as the eventual 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 defeat proved, even the hope of beating the Spaniard in the final, where he has never been defeated, was a stretch too far. “What you are doing on this court is unbelievable. Today you showed why you are the king of clay,” said Djokovic. “I was totally outplayed but I am not happy with how I played either.”

Against the run of play in the first set and the match Djokovic won the first rally of the contest. The sparse crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier remained quiet behind their masks. Then a growling Nadal forehand tested Djokovic’s backhand to level the points and the audience erupted. Djokovic scowled.

Leave a comment: (Your email will not be published)