Prior to the start of Roland Garros 2020, many had tipped Novak Djokovic to end Rafael Nadal's reign in Paris. The fact that the Spaniard had lost early in Rome, coupled with the heavier conditions and different balls being used this year, had seemingly put the Serb ahead in the list of favorites.
Just prior to the final, it was announced that the match would be held under the roof due to bad weather. That only increased the expectations of a Djokovic win, since he has historically been much more comfortable playing indoors than the Spaniard.
Carlos Moya, the coach of Rafael Nadal, recently recalled how the team was apprehensive of telling the 34-year-old that the roof would be closed. As it turned out though, Nadal's confidence was incredibly high that day and he surprised everyone with his reaction.
"When they come to tell us that the final will be played indoors, we wonder how we're going to announce that to Rafa," Moya said. "15 minutes from the match, Francisco Roig (Rafa's co-trainer) told him so. And there, Rafa's response was: 'I don't care, it doesn't change anything, I'm going to win this match'."
Moya believes Nadal's comment was not arrogant, but instead that it reflected his self-belief and confidence.
"Rafa had never said such a thing to me before a match," Moya added. "He knew he wouldn't fail. Nadal is such a humble person. It wasn't arrogance, it was a feeling of confidence, of security."
Rafael Nadal played one of his best matches ever to thrash Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros final
The 2020 French Open final saw Rafael Nadal produce one of the best performances of his career. The Spaniard demolished Novak Djokovic in straight sets, winning 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 to grab a record-extending 13th French Open title. That also tied him with Roger Federer at 20 Majors overall - a record in men's tennis history.
The Spaniard's performance at the French Open final left even Djokovic at a loss for words after the final.
"No, no, I was fine. Everything was okay," Djokovic had told the media in Paris after his loss. "I was ready for this match. It's just that I was outplayed. I was beaten by a guy who was just perfect today - especially the first two sets. That's all there is to it."
"I will absolutely not find any other justification for this loss. He was just better," Djokovic had added.Published 28 Dec 2020, 00:20 IST