Rafael Nadal had to endure two tough weeks during the 2020 Roland Garros, respecting the health measures and bubble like the rest of the field. Sharing the living space with his coach Carlos Moya and the physiotherapist Rafael Maymo, Nadal had to find a way to spend the day when there were no matches, playing PlayStation and watching series.
Nadal said it was not easy for him to stay locked with two persons for an entire day. Still, his efforts paid off after winning his 13th Roland Garros crown and the 20th Major! Outside the bubble, Nadal had to endure difficult times on the court and compete on clay in cold and rainy weather, with the new Wilson balls and a roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Nadal’s rivals were hoping for a surprise in those harsh conditions. Still, the king of clay had other plans, winning the title without losing a set and writing the record books. At 34, Nadal secured the 13th title from 16 trips to Paris, dominating the rest of the field and defending his kingdom for another season.
Nadal ousted Egor Gerasimov in the first round, losing serve once and delivering five breaks for a strong start. Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia and Sebastian Korda stood no chance against the Spaniard. Nadal dropped 13 games in nine sets and got broken once to sail into the last eight following a favorable draw.
Rafael Nadal had to find a way to endure the bubble in Paris last year.
With momentum and a good feeling on the court, Nadal had to work harder in the following two encounters. He fought for six hours against Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman in the quarters and semis, enduring one challenging set against each to advance into the 13th Roland Garros final.
The stage was set for a memorable clash against Novak Djokovic. Preparing the right game plan with his team, Nadal turned the conditions in his favor. He produced aggressive tennis under a roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier to topple Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes.
The Spaniard stormed over the Serb in the opening two sets to build a massive advantage in an hour and a half. Rafa stole Novak’s serve in the third set’s closing stages to seal the deal and secure one of the most important titles of his career.
“I found it harder than Carlos Moya and Rafael Maymo; I’m a person who prefers being with people more. Carlos could always get on his own, so as Rafa. For me, it’s a little harder. The days have seemed longer to me than to them, but we have rediscovered things we had forgotten.
It had been three years since I had picked up a PlayStation controller, and we played it a lot with each other. We have also been reading the latest news and watching various series to kill time,” Rafael Nadal said.