Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the players to beat at the last year's Roland Garros, ousting six rivals to set a thrilling title clash. As it turned out, Nadal was the only player on the court in that one, beating Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes to secure the 13th Roland Garros crown and join Roger Federer on 20 Majors!
Speaking about the final, a former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic said that no one could have expected that outcome. The Serb stated that Nadal played a perfect match, while Djokovic made too many errors, rushing to finish the points and finding no answer for the rival's strokes.
Despite challenging conditions and a mighty opponent on the other side, Nadal was determined to extend his Parisian reign, overcoming all the concerns and a roof above his head to score a dominant victory and write history books.
Nadal got broken eight times in seven encounters in Paris during the fortnight, and Djokovic could not find his regular return magic to challenge the mighty opponent. Thus, Rafa became the third-oldest Roland Garros winner at 34 and secured his fourth Major crown without losing a set.
Nadal had 31 winners and 14 unforced errors, controlling his strokes nicely and taking half of the return points to deliver seven breaks from 18 opportunities. Djokovic could not find his A-game in the opening two sets, spraying 50 unforced errors and failing to match Nadal's pace.
Rafa destroyed Novak in the shortest range up to four strokes and earned his victory in that segment, as they stayed close to each other in the more advanced exchanges. Delivering his best tennis right from the opening game, Rafa grabbed an instant break when Novak's backhand landed long.
Janko Tipsarevic shared thoughts about the ;ast year's Roland Garros final.
The Spaniard seized another return game at 2-0 to increase the lead after 20 minutes and painted a backhand crosscourt winner at 4-0 to extend the gap.
Rafa held at 15 in game six to wrap up the opener with a bagel, repeating what he did against Roger Federer in the final 12 years ago! The defending champion grabbed two breaks in set number two and held at 30 at 5-2 with a service winner to forge a 6-0, 6-2 advantage in an hour and 34 minutes.
They stayed neck and neck until 5-5 in the third after trading breaks in the middle of the set. Novak hit a double fault in the 11th game to lose serve and propel Rafa towards the title following the Spaniard's excellent hold a few minutes later.
"The Roland Garros final surprised us all. Nadal played a perfect match, and Novak made tactic errors that were usually unrelated to his game. When they both play on a high level, there are many epic points and rallies regardless of the surface.
That was all missing in their Parisian encounter. Novak probably tried to finish the point too soon, going for drop shots or too powerful strokes. In my opinion, the conditions favored Nadal, and it was not easy to beat him in the way that Novak attempted," Janko Tipsarevic said.