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Sport French Open 2020: Nadal delights in Roland Garros 'love story', not Federer record

21:05  11 october  2020
21:05  11 october  2020 Source:   performgroup.com

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Rafael Nadal brushed away talk of his record-equalling haul of grand slam triumphs as he focused on his Roland Garros "love story" after another French Open win.

a baseball player holding a racket on a court: Rafael Nadal reacts to his latest Roland Garros win © Getty Images Rafael Nadal reacts to his latest Roland Garros win

Nadal thrashed world number one Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 to match Roger Federer's total of 20 men's singles titles at the tennis majors.

It was the Spaniard's 13th success on the red clay of Paris, raising his own benchmark further, and his long relationship with the crowd in France was at the forefront of the champion's mind.

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  French Open 2020: Nadal starts quest for 13th Roland Garros title in routine fashion Defending champion Rafael Nadal needed just over two hours to see off Egor Gerasimov and ease into the second round of the French Open.Seeking a remarkable 13th title at the clay-court grand slam, Nadal had suggested the conditions and heavier balls he described as "slow and dangerous" could impact his hopes.

"To win here means everything to me," Nadal said. "It's not the moment - honestly not for me - to think about the 20th, equalling Roger or this great number.

"For me, today is just a Roland Garros victory. Roland Garros means everything to me.

"I spent the most important moments of my tennis career here. I just want to say thank you very, very much to everybody here.

"For me, just to play here is a true inspiration. The love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable."

So dominant was Nadal's latest win on Court Philippe-Chatrier that he apologised to rival Djokovic, who had not lost a completed match up to this point in 2020.

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"Congrats to Novak for another great tournament," Nadal said. "Sorry for today. In Australia, he killed me a couple of times ago. Today was for me.

"That's part of the game. We've played plenty of times together - one day one wins, another day the other. So all the best for the future, Novak."

Djokovic acknowledged he had been completely outclassed.

"I want to say a huge congratulations to Rafa and your team and your family, of course," the top seed said in his post-final speech.

"What you are doing on this court is unbelievable - but not just this court. Throughout your entire career, you've been a great champion.

"Today you showed why you're king of the clay. I experienced it with my own skin.

"It was a very tough match for me today - obviously I am not so pleased with the way I played - but I was definitely outplayed by a better player today on the court."

French Open 2020: Nadal could end his season early after matching Federer grand slam record .
Rafael Nadal will speak to his team and family before deciding whether to play again this year following his record-equalling win in Paris.Nadal produced another masterclass at Roland Garros on Sunday, beating old foe Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 to win his favourite tournament for an astonishing 13th time.

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