Rafael Nadal has moved a set away from the 20th Major title, opening a 6-0, 6-2 lead over world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in Roland Garros final. Nadal has been the dominant figure so far under the roof of Court Philippe-Chatrier, delivering impressive tennis and leaving Novak far behind in sets one and two.
That first set's bagel was the first in the title match in Paris since 2008 when Nadal won the third set against Federer 6-0, repeating that today and maintaining that level in set number two. Novak wasted game points in the clash's first game, suffering a break when his backhand landed wide.
The Spaniard confirmed the advantage after deuce in game two and grabbed another break when Djokovic netted a backhand to move 3-0 up after 20 minutes. Serving in game four, Rafa had to work hard to remain unbroken, fending off three break chances and closing the game with an ace to extend the gap.
From 40-0, Novak suffered a significant blow in game five, getting broken after a backhand crosscourt winner from Nadal, who secured the first set with an ace in game six for a perfect start. Continuing where he left in the opener, Rafa lost seven points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point and earning two breaks for 6-2.
The Spaniard fired 11 winners and four unforced errors, outplaying Djokovic's 14-17 ratio with more composed strokes and moving closer to the finish line. The Serb faced eight break chances, fending off six of those but suffering two breaks to push Nadal further in front.
The Spaniard had the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced rallies, keeping everything under control and looking good to seal the deal in straight sets against the most formidable possible opponent. Djokovic defended three break points in the second set's opening game to finally add his name to the scoreboard after 54 minutes before Nadal held with a service winner to level the score at 1-1.
Rafael Nadal is 6-0, 6-2 in front against Novak Djokovic in Roland Garros final.
Unable to gain free points or impose his groundstroke after the initial shot, Djokovic suffered a break in game three following a tired forehand, sending Nadal 2-1 in front.
The Serb netted another forehand in the fourth game, missing the opportunity to create a chance on the return after reaching deuce and allowing Rafa to open a 3-1 gap. Playing miles behind his top level, Novak sent a forehand long in the fifth game to fall further behind, with Rafa landing a forehand down the line winner that pushed him 5-1 up.
Djokovic produced a much-needed hold at 15 to remain in the set and reduce the deficit before Nadal fired a service winner in game eight to wrap up the set and move closer to the finish line and tennis glory.