Before the ultimate clash of champions at Roland Garros 2020, the coaches of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had different approaches towards the final match. Carlos Moya, who has been working with Nadal for three years alone since the retirement of Toni Nadal, praised Djokovic, saying he is one of the best players in history.
Moya said Nadal and his team had to bring the right tactics to topple such a strong rival, confident his player is capable of doing that. On the other hand, Goran Ivanisevic had no doubts, stating that Novak Djokovic will beat Nadal easily, giving the 12-time Roland Garros champion no chances against his pupil.
As it turned out, Djokovic had every reason to fear Nadal on Sunday, suffering a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 loss in two hours and 41 minutes, as Rafa extended his Roland Garros reign! Nadal scored the 100th triumph from 102 encounters in Paris since 2005, a true testimony of his unmatched dominance at the clay Major.
It was anything but a regular Roland Garros, with the event going on in cold and rainy October, with new Wilson balls and a roof over the central court. Above all that, Nadal had played only one tournament between Acapulco and Roland Garros, missing the US Open and suffering the quarter-final loss in Rome!
Still, he got back at his best in Paris, winning the 20th Major title at 34 and achieving that without dropping a set! Suffering only eight breaks in seven matches, Nadal delivered one of his best serving displays in Paris, pushing the rivals to the limits on the return and enduring three tight sets against Jannik Sinner, Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic to wrap up the tournament with perfect numbers.
Rafa became the third-oldest champion in Paris, extending his dominance on the slowest surface and claiming the 60th ATP title on clay.
Carlos Moya won the battle of the coaches against Goran Ivanisevic in Paris.
In the final, Rafa had to be aggressive and focused against the most formidable opponent, doing everything right on the court and leaving Novak far behind in the opening two sets.
Nadal finished the match with 31 winners and 14 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely from both wings and stealing 51% of the return points to forge the crucial difference. Novak sprayed 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 serve once, which was never enough for Novak to feel comfortable and relaxed on the court, doing almost nothing on the return and having no idea how to outplay Rafa in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, the area where he should have had the advantage.
"I know Ivanisevic, and I understand that it is the role that he has to play. On the part of Rafa's team, nobody would have said something similar, but I think it is something that puts pressure on his player," Carlos Moya said.