Novak Djokovic Reveals What Went Wrong at French Open 2020 Against Rafael Nadal

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Novak Djokovic will have to wait a while for his 18th Grand Slam title. The Serbian was up against Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open 2020. The Spaniard claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and extended Djokovic’s wait as the Serb failed to resist his opponent’s aggression. Although he tried his best to fetch to spin the match in his favor, every effort failed in front of Rafa.

The Serb was in a spectacular form coming into the final. He had lost only one match prior to the final and was confident of winning this one as well. However, the results went against him. Djokovic himself came forth to analyze what went wrong against Nadal.

Djokovic’s main assets in this tournament have been his precise dropshots. However, Rafa came in having done his homework and capitalized on the dropshots to fetch important points.

“[The dropshot] didn’t work great today, let’s say. [Nadal] was winning a lot of those dropshot points that were played by my side. I didn’t play so many in the end of the day. I did try tactically different things, but not much worked in the first two sets,” Djokovic stated.

Rhythm is an integral part of any game. If it is broken, it’s very difficult to regain it. The rhythm often decides who becomes the winner and who the loser and the final in Paris was no exception. Although Djokovic did try to break his opponent’s rhythm, it seemed like Nadal was prepared for everything.

Djokovic added, “I wanted to kind of disrupt his rhythm, obviously. But he was ready. He was there, he was prepared. He was playing all the right shots today. It’s just one of these days where you have to just say, Chapeau, and well done.”

Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point in the French Open 2020 final
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Novak Djokovic failed to capitalize on adverse conditions

The delayed French Open saw unfavorable weather conditions all over Paris. It was relatively cold and damp. Not many thought Rafa could be the winner due to the adverse conditions out there since they didn’t really suit his game. However, the Spaniard had the last laugh.

Djokovic said, “I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today.

The Serb was trying to grab quick points which caused his downfall. In heavyweight matches, patience is often the greatest virtue. Djokovic said, “I was probably rushing a bit much, trying to play shorter points, probably go for winners. I probably wasn’t constructing the points well. That reflected on the result. But that was also caused by [Rafael Nadal], by his amazing defense. [Rafael Nadal] was getting a lot of balls back. Normally all the shots that I play after two, three quick exchanges from the back of the court, when I hit it against nine out of ten guys, it’s a winner, the point is done. But not against him.”

Nadal creates new records

Following his 2020 Roland Garros win, the Spaniard has broken his tally of winning 12 titles in Paris and to take it to 13. The magic figure came in alongside a century of wins in the French Open.

Rafael Nadal poses with the French Open 2020 after defeating Novak Djokovic
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Rafa’s overall statistic shows a mere two losses along with the century of victories. For 15 years, he’s been the undisputed ruler of the French Open. The French Open 2020 victory brought Nadal and Roger Federer on equal footing with 20 Grand Slam wins each. Rafa continues to write history each day. He will surely be marking the next Grand Slams to help on the path to his 21st title.

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