Despite being one of the finest players from the so-called Next Gen generation, Daniil Medvedev had to wait until this season to score his first Roland Garros victory. Between 2017-2019, the Russian would lose in the opening round in Paris to the home players before Marton Fucsovics ousted him in October last year in four sets.
Daniil took down Alexander Bublik, Tommy Paul, Reilly Opelka and Cristian Garin to find himself in the Roland Garros quarter-final this June and achieve the first notable result at a clay Major. In October last year, Rafael Nadal claimed the 13th Roland Garros crown, dominating the field again and writing history books.
Claiming 100 victories from 102 encounters in Paris, Nadal pushed the boundaries of his domination once again, receiving praises from all over the world and making it a memorable season despite the pandemic and an extended break he took.
A funny video showed Rafa as an older man following his triumph at Roland Garros 2050, with Medvedev commenting on how he would love to win at least one match in Paris by then. The Russian did not have to wait for that long to accomplish the mission, hoping for more good results at clay Major in the years to come.
Last year's Roland Garros was the most challenging one for Nadal, heading to Paris with three matches in his legs since the end of February and facing the conditions he had never experienced at his beloved tournament in the past.
Rafael Nadal has claimed 13 Roland Garros titles.
Leaving the cold weather, new Wilson balls and a roof over Philippe-Chatrier court behind him, Rafa defeated all seven rivals in straight sets to claim the 20th Major title and join Roger Federer at the top of the GOAT race.
Rafa defeated Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia and Sebastian Korda without breaking a sweat, losing serve once and dropping 23 games to sail into the quarters. Nadal had to work harder against the young Italian Jannik Sinner, who served for the opening set at 6-5.
The 12-time champion broke back in the last moment and won the tie break before prevailing in the second and shifting into a higher gear in the third to advance into the semis. Unlike in the Rome quarter-final, Diego Schwartzman stood no chance against Rafa in Paris, staying competitive in the third set but losing the tie break 7-0 to propel the Spaniard through.
The most formidable obstacle stood between Rafael Nadal and the title, with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic awaiting on the other side of the net in the title clash. Like those before him, Novak had nothing to offer against the king of clay, who forged a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in two hours and 41 minutes for the fourth Major crown without losing a set!
Rafa gave serve away once and kept Novak's return in the locker room, destroying him in the shortest rallies up to four strokes to control the scoreboard. Djokovic tried to avoid a disaster in the third set, pulling the break back in the sixth game to level the score at 3-3 and remain in contention.
Nadal held comfortably in games eight, ten and 12, earned a break at 5-5 after Djokovic's double fault and moved over the top with a hold at love a few minutes later. This spring, Rafa lost the Roland Garros crown to Novak after finishing on the losing side in an epic semi-final against the Serb.