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Roland Garros 2020: A look at the top 5 men's singles matches at the French Open

Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal
Gaurav Moghe
ANALYST
Modified 13 Oct 2020, 16:14 IST
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Roland Garros 2020 concluded with Rafael Nadal winning his record-extending 13th Roland Garros title, and tying Roger Federer for 20 career Grand Slams.

Besides Nadal’s history-making feat, Roland Garros had a lot to offer on the men’s singles side. 

Here’s a look at the top 5 men’s singles matches at Roland Garros 2020:

Dominic Thiem v Hugo Gaston

Dominic Thiem relieved after his victory over Hugo Gaston
Dominic Thiem relieved after his victory over Hugo Gaston

When the No. 3 seed Theim was matched against world No. 239 Gaston for the Round of 16 match, it was expected to be a smooth ride for the US Open champion.

The match moved on expected line for the first two sets, which the Austrian won comfortably.

But riding on the wave of passionate home crowd support, the wildcard entrant made a spectacular comeback. Streaking the court with stunning dropshots, Gaston made life difficult for Thiem and stretched the match to the 5th set.

In the end, Theim's experience as a 2-time Roland Garros finalist proved insurmountable, and he won the match.

Dominic Thiem v Diego Schwartzman

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Diego Schwartman defeated Dominic Thiem to reach his first ever Grand Slam semi-final
Diego Schwartman defeated Dominic Thiem to reach his first ever Grand Slam semi-final

Good friends off the court, Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman battled like true warriors in their quarter-final encounter.

The match that ran for over 5 hours was marked with momentum swings. Each player had their chances to win each of the first four sets. And each set was more or less decided by a couple of points.

Though the level of play wasn’t at its best, the players did manage to make a show of it with their valiant fight.

Visibly suffering from the Gaston match, Thiem couldn’t keep up with Diego’s fine ball striking, and the diminutive Argentine fought his way to his first Grand Slam semi-final.

Novak Djokovic v Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Novak Djokovic
Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Novak Djokovic

In what was considered as the battle of generation, the 33-year-old Serb battled past the 22-year-old Greek in 5 sets.

Like Thiem versus Gaston, it looked like one-way traffic for Djokovic as he raced to a 2-set and a break lead. One point away from victory on his serve, the world No. 1 saw a remarkable fightback from the Greek.

Tsitsipas miraculously took the 3rd set, breaking Djokovic back to back. In the fourth set, the No. 5 seed hung tight by the skin of his teeth and forced the match to an unthought-of 5th set.

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But while things took a wild turn, Djokovic was composed, and always in command of the match. After breaking Tsitsipas in the 5th game of the 5th set, Djokovic sailed through the set.

Stan Wawrinka v Hugo Gaston

Hugo Gaston after winning against Stan Wawrinka
Hugo Gaston after winning against Stan Wawrinka

In what was the upset of the tournament, the World No. 239 Hugo Gaston defeated the No. 16 seed and 2015 Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka in 5 sets.

Though Wawrinka was far from his best form, committing over 70 unforced errors, Gaston kept the pressure building on him. 

After convincingly losing the first set, Gaston charged back by winning the next two sets. But, as always happens against the big players, Wawrinka stormed back and pushed the match to the fifth set.

However, Gaston was undeterred as he swept the 5th set 6-0, and scored the biggest victory of his career.

Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic for record-extending 13th Roland Garros title
Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic for record-extending 13th Roland Garros title

The final at Roland Garros was laden with stories. The world No. 1 against the world No. 2. Nadal's prospective 20 Grand Slams against Djokovic's possible 18 Grand Slams. 13 Roland Garros titles against a Double Career Grand Slam.

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No matter who wins it, history was sure to be made.

With Djokovic coming into the final undefeated in a completed match in 2020, he was expected to rise on the occasion and do the impossible - defeating Nadal in the Roland Garros final.

But the undefeated 13th-time finalist Rafael Nadal gave nothing away to the Serb. Playing almost flawless tennis, Nadal raced to a two-set lead, hardly breaking a sweat.

Though Djokovic wrestled for a brief part of the third set, the final was by then a foregone conclusion. 

With a 6–0, 6–2, 7–5 victory over Djokovic, Nadal claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and 20th Grand Slam, equalling Roger Federer's record.

Published 13 Oct 2020, 16:14 IST
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