Before the champions’ final meeting at Roland Garros in 2020, the coaches of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had different approaches to the final match. Carlos Moya, who has worked with Nadal for just three years since Toni Nadal retired, praised Djokovic, saying he was one of the best players in history.
Moya said Nadal and his team need to bring the right tactics to topple such a strong rival, confident his player is capable of doing it. In contrast, Goran Ivanisevic had no doubts, claiming that Novak Djokovic will easily beat Nadal, leaving the 12-time Roland Garros champion no chance against his pupil.
It turned out that Djokovic had every reason to fear Nadal on Sunday, losing with a score of 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes, as Rafa extended his reign at Roland Garros!
Nadal has won the 100th triumph in 102 games in Paris since 2005, a true testament to his unparalleled dominance on clay. It was anything but a regular Roland Garros, with the event taking place in October with colder and rainier weather.
There were also new Wilson balls and a roof over center court. Above all, Nadal had played only one tournament between Acapulco and Roland Garros, missing the US Open and suffering a defeat in the quarterfinals in Rome!
Yet he returned to his best level in Paris, winning the 20th major title at 34 and achieving it without losing a set! Having suffered just eight breaks in seven games, Nadal delivered one of his best performances in service in Paris, pushing his rivals to the limits of the return and enduring three tight sets against Jannik Sinner, Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic to conclude the tournament with perfect numbers.
Rafa became the third oldest champion in Paris, extending his dominance on the slower surface and winning the 60th ATP title on clay.
Carlos Moya – better trainer than Goran Ivanisevic in Paris.
In the final, Rafa had to be aggressive and focused against the most formidable opponent, doing everything on the pitch and leaving Novak far behind in the first two sets.
Nadal finished the game with 31 winning points and 14 unforced errors, taming his strikes from both wings well and stealing 51% of the return points to forge the crucial difference. Novak pulverized 52 unforced errors, unable to challenge the rival for more than two hours or win a set despite a solid effort in the third.
Rafa lost his serve once, which still wasn’t enough to make Novak feel comfortable and relaxed on the pitch, doing next to nothing on the return and not knowing how to top Rafa in the rally anymore. short, the area where he should have had the advantage.
“I know Ivanisevic, and I understand that is the role he has to play. From Rafa’s team, no one would have said anything similar, but I think it is something that puts pressure on his player, ”said Carlos Moya.