ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal downs Novak Djokovic to match Roger Federer



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ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal downs Novak Djokovic to match Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal claimed the 13th Roland Garros crown, beating Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes. Thus, the Spaniard equaled Roger Federer's record of 20 Major titles, securing his title of the greatest clay-courter once again and extending the reign in Paris after winning 100 matches from 102 encounters.

Serving at 76%, Rafa fended off all three break points in the first set, staying on a high level behind the initial shot like in the entire tournament and stealing Novak's serve thrice. Playing aggressive and precise tennis, Nadal fired ten winners and two unforced errors, leaving Djokovic on 11 winners and 13 unforced errors.

The Serb lost a staggering 62% of the points behind the initial shot, unable to impose his strokes and move Nadal from the comfort zone. Rafa had a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, playing well behind serve and the first groundstroke (or return) to forge the advantage.

Nadal is 111-0 when he wins the first set in the best-of-five encounters on clay, hoping to maintain the record and finish with another trophy in his hands. Novak wasted game points in the clash's first game, suffering a break when his backhand landed wide.

The Spaniard confirmed the lead after deuce in game two and grabbed another break when Djokovic netted a backhand for 3-0 after 20 minutes. Serving in game four, Rafa had to dig deep to keep the serve intact, fending off three break chances and closing the game with an ace to extend the gap.

From 40-0, Novak suffered another 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. The Spaniard fired 11 winners and four unforced errors in set number two, 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.

Rafael Nadal claimed the 20th Major title, beating Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.

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. 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. Nadal grabbed a break in the fifth game of the second set before Novak pulled it back, roaring towards the crowd and gathering boost.

The Serb saved a break point in game nine with a well-constructed attack, finding the range and pushing Nadal to the limits in the last couple of games. Still, Novak hit a double fault to suffer a break in game 11, pushing Nadal in front and allowing the opponent to serve for the triumph. Rafa held at love to seal the deal and earn tennis glory.