The global pandemic and the different placement on the calendar did not prevent Rafael Nadal from winning his 13th career Roland Garros, the fourth without losing a single set along the way. The former world number 1, who had turned up in the French capital after his premature elimination at the BNL Internationals of Italy, beat the competition by demolishing world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the final.
Thanks to that success, the 34-year-old from Manacor won his 20th Grand Slam equaling Roger Federer's record at the end of a very long chase. The Swiss phenomenon has played only one tournament this year due to a knee injury, hoping to be able to admire him again in 2021.
Djokovic, for his part, expected something more in the second half of the season, but the resounding disqualification remedied at the US Open he affected the Serbian's mental stability in the last rounds of 2020. Interviewed by Tennisnet in recent days, Pat Cash revealed how it is almost impossible for anyone in the future to dominate on clay as Nadal did.
Cash on Rafael Nadal's record in Paris
"One should never say never, but one can assume that we will never see a clay court player like him again," Pat Cash said. "Bjorn Borg would have come closest to that, he too was almost impossible to beat."
Pat Cash concluded that defeating Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of Roland Garros is the most challenging feat there has ever been in tennis. "For me, the most difficult task in the history of the sport is to win against Rafael Nadal in Paris.
I can't think of anything that could be more difficult," Cash added. Nadal recently spoke about the emotions associated with his Roland Garros triumph. That was his 20th Grand Slam, which leveled him with Roger Federer for most slams in history.
“It was obviously a very important moment for me, professionally, and let’s be honest, personally as well. But this year’s victory wasn’t the same as his previous ones. The COVID-19 made the celebrations less cheerful and eventful.
“It meant a lot for me to win again at Roland-Garros and reach the number of titles there that I did. But I also can’t deny the fact that in the end, the celebration wasn’t as cheerful as it was after my other victories."
Nevertheless, 2020 was another successful year for Rafa. He wasn’t leading some of the charts because he didn’t play as many matches as he plays every other year.