World no. 2 Rafael Nadal couldn't defend the last year's award and earn the fifth L'Equipe honor, finishes second behind the seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Briton destroyed the field (1866 points in comparison to 437 for Nadal) to secure the first L'Equipe award, while Nadal beat Lebron James to finish second.
The Spaniard finishes the season inside the top-2 for the record-breaking 12th time, playing only a couple of tournaments in 2020 and still doing enough to make it a memorable one. Kicking off the season from the ATP throne, Nadal suffered three losses at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open to David Goffin, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem to lose world no.
1 status and hand it to Djokovic. Following exhibition matches against David Ferrer and Roger Federer and Kuwait and South Africa, Rafa went to Acapulco and claimed the 85th ATP title. It came just before the coronavirus outbreak that sent Nadal home from Indian Wells and kept him there for six and a half months.
Rafa didn't train in March and April, spending time with his family and returning to the court in May. Working on clay right from the start, the Spaniard decided to skip the New York trip, withdrawing from Cincinnati and the US Open and returning in Rome.
Following two commanding triumphs, Rafa lost the quarter-final clash to Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 7-5, struggling with conditions and motivated rival on the other side of the net to lose the crown won in 2019. With no room for errors, Nadal went to Paris and embraced his 16th Roland Garros campaign, seeking the 13th title in challenging conditions never seen in the French capital before.
Rafael Nadal finished second in the L'Equipe award.
Raising his level when it mattered the most, Rafa delivered his A-game at beloved Major, suffering eight breaks in seven encounters and winning the title without losing a set at 34!
Rafa found the rhythm in the opening four rounds - dropping 23 games in 12 sets - and battled hard against Jannik Sinner to reach the semis. There, the Spaniard stayed on the court for over three hours, defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 to set the ultimate clash against Novak Djokovic.
Seeking the second Major crown of the season and the second at Roland Garros overall, Novak stood no chance against the mighty opponent. Nadal scored a dominant 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory in two hours and 41 minutes to extend his Parisian reign and join Roger Federer on 20 Major crowns.
By the end of the season, Rafa returned to Paris for the Paris Masters 1000 event, losing to Alexander Zverev in the semi-final and entering the ATP Finals with high hopes. The Spaniard reached the last four in London and served for the win against Daniil Medvedev, losing ground after that and falling in three sets to end his season.