2020 French Open Final Open Thread: Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal
by Staff | October 11th, 2020, 8:06 am

The greatest rivalry in men’s tennis resumes Sunday for the conclusion of the 2020 French Open. Rafael Nadal will looking to win a 13th French Open title and match Roger Federer with 20 career Grand Slam titles.

Novak Djokovic will seek a second title at Roland Garros and with it an historic second Career Slam.

The two haven’t played in Paris in over six years when Djokovic routed Nadal in the 2014 quarterfinals. But Nadal leads 17-7 on the clay against his rival and is 6-1 at the French Open.

Who will make history?

*Nadal is bidding to win his 20th Grand Slam title and equal Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Since Federer won his first Grand Slam title at 2003 Wimbledon, he has always been ahead of Nadal in terms of most Grand Slam titles won. Djokovic is bidding to win his 18th Grand Slam title and close the gap on Federer and Nadal at the top of the list.
* Djokovic is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on 2 or more occasions. (NB While Laver completed the feat in 1969, some of the titles were won before the start of the Open Era)
* Nadal is bidding to record his 100th match-win at Roland Garros today. He would become just the 5th player, and 2nd man, to record 100 match-wins at a Grand Slam event – after Evert (101-12 at the US Open), Federer (102-15 at the Australian Open, 101-13 at Wimbledon), Navratilova (120-14 at Wimbledon) and Serena Williams (106-14 at the US Open).
* Djokovic is bidding to record his 75th Roland Garros match-win. By recording his 71st victory here in the 3rd round this year, he claimed sole ownership of 2nd place on the list for most Roland Garros men’s singles match-wins, ahead of Federer.
* This is the 49th meeting between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in a Grand Slam men’s singles final in the Open Era – and the 10th at Roland Garros. Of the 48 previous Grand Slam finals between the Top 2 seeds in the Open Era, the No. 1 seed has won 25 times and the No. 2 seed has won 23 times.
* This is the first meeting between the top 2 seeds in a Roland Garros men’s singles final since 2016, when No. 1 Djokovic defeated No. 2 Murray, and the first meeting between the top 2 seeds in a Grand Slam men’s singles final since 2019 Wimbledon, when No. 1 Djokovic defeated No. 2 Federer.

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 29-26
This is Djokovic and Nadal’s 56th Tour-level meeting. They hold the record for most Tour-level match-ups in the Open Era. This is the pair’s 16th Grand Slam meeting. They are in 2nd place on the list for most Grand Slam match-ups in the Open Era, behind Djokovic and Federer.

Djokovic and Nadal are contesting their 9th Grand Slam final – equalling the record for most Grand Slam men’s singles finals contested in the Open Era, held by Federer and Nadal.

This is the pair’s 25th meeting on clay. Nadal has won the pair’s last 3 clay court meetings, with Djokovic’s last clay court victory over Nadal coming in the quarterfinals at 2016 Rome-1000. Nadal leads their head-to-head on clay 17-7. By comparison, Djokovic leads the head-to-head on hard court 20-7 and they are tied 2-2 on grass.

** Court Philippe CHATRIER ** Début à 11h30
1 DD F Alexa GUARACHI (CHI)/Desirae KRAWCZYK (USA) [14] contre Timea BABOS (HUN)/Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA)[2]
Pas avant 15h00
2 SM F Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [1] contre Rafael NADAL (ESP) [2]

Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Cool. High 59F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Novak Djokovic 2.18 v Rafael Nadal 1.69

NBC will have live coverage of the men’s final at 9am ET.


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73 Comments for 2020 French Open Final Open Thread: Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

Tennis Lover Says:

Novak Djokovic can beat Rafa Nadal if he can summon his 2011 level. What makes his 2011 level so special??

1. Relentless aggression from the baseline rather than appalling slug-fest bonanza which he is currently doing

2. Backhand both DTL and CC working with unerring accuracy

3. Producing angles and heavy shots from forehand

4. Need to have his passing shot working, dropshotting Nadal and lobbing won’t work, again his passing shots were at his rididiculous best during 2011, after that it worked in flashes, he needs to make sure if he is using dropshots he needs to position himself immediately for making an amazing pass.

5. A great serving and playing with both patience and aggression.

Anything less than this would lead to Rafa hoisting his 13th RG and in the process tying with Federer’s 20 GS tally. What a sad day it will be for Fed fans and loyalists.

Van Persie Says:

We know that Tennis Lover, a reason why some Nole fans would not be very upset, if Novak loses tonight😉

Daniel Says:

Djoko losing a serve game from 40-15 up abusing drop shots.

Nadal going FH DTL every chance he gets.

Daniel Says:

Djoko’s first serve percentage isnawful, but he is not qinning those points either, 0-4 in 1st😳

Tennis Lover Says:

As I stated, no dropshotting, needs to play with relentless aggression from the baseline like the way he did to beat near peak Nadal on 2011. Drop shot should only appear as a surprise/ disguise to disrupt Nadal’s rhythm from baseline, if he plays drop shots he needs to back it up with unbelievable passing shots, out of big three, Djoker is easily the worst smasher and passer.

Daniel Says:

Nadal is not missing the court when defending, inpossible to play him like this

Tennis Lover Says:

He needs to keep hitting with unstoppable ferocity and relentless power and that will eventually force Nadal to commit mistakes, he did play like this in 2011, but now he simply does not possess this firepower in his game.

Daniel Says:

Well, if Djoko can’t win a game from 40-0 up, match is over.

Tennis Lover Says:

This djoker is playing like douche, tonnes of errors, Rafa is nowhere near is best Clay Level 2005- 2008, neither is his game is in the level of 2017, 2012, still djoker is getting bullied on the court, I don’t understand why his fans keep simping on him.

chofer Says:

I don’t think Djokovic is playing that bad. A turnaround seems posible since these players adjust so well. The downer here it’s his serve, he needs to improve that.

Nadal is being Nadal.

chofer Says:

“You just don’t play Nadal here. You play his reputation”. Diego Schwartzmann

Daniel Says:

Other than net points, Nadal is flawless, hardly making any errors, going gor attack both FH and BH earlier. He is not going to prolong the points, only on defense. And one of those days when you just don’t miss the court. Eventually Djoko misses.

jatin Says:

I have seen Rafa like this everytime he is in French finals. He does not miss anything at all. He out of nowhere transends to other worldly level.
I remember how difficult it was for dominic thiem last year to take a set off him. It itself looked like he won a match winning 1 set.

I am hoping Novak to up his level now. We are hoping for a blockbuster and its upto Novak now.

chofer Says:

It’s also possible Djokovic is feeling the 5 sets against Tstsipas in the first st. The only way is up.

This is an indoor slow hard court match, oddly. Play closer to the baseline, which Nadal, oddly, understood better than Djokovic in the first set.

chofer Says:

Nadal retreating back far. A mistake.

He hs the chance to pull the trigger here.

Tennis Lover Says:

The thing Djokovic is playing with his trusted formula which kept him winning so many matches this year against the opponents who were willing to surrender to see him winning, he needed fresh strategies and gameplan and unwavering determination to execute it from the get go. It seems he has forgotten how he conquered Rafa in 2011.

chofer Says:

… and Nadal has to remember how he beat Djokovic in those Us Open finals. Flattening his shots, not retreating to his usual court position on clay. The conditions asks for different things.

jatin Says:

Novak should come forward, Standing back is just not working for him against Rafa’s furious Top spin.

chofer Says:

I don’t think I’ve seen Nadal play so many slice backhands in this court ever. It’s a testament of how the conditions have changed from the ususal tournament.

Tennis Lover Says:

If Djokovic keeps playing like this, he ain’t winning, he may offer fights for a set and half and then he will perish…

Daniel Says:

Every service game facing BP. Its too much pressure, not even him can endure

chofer Says:

If Nadal don’t take the BP chnces he gets, it will backfire.

Tennis Lover Says:

Again that ill- advised dropshot, it won’t work against Nadal on Clay, djoker is mindfucked right now, playing like a lamb to be slaughtered by Rafa.

chofer Says:

And Nole helping. One thing he needs ASAP: his serve. As for the drop shots: not working on a regular basis with the roof closed and someone as fast as Rafa.

Tennis Lover Says:

Djokovic is playing rubbish, that ill- advised Dropshot again, it seems Djokovic is mind fucked, he cannot play this fancy tennis with Rafa in RG. He is getting slaughtered there, if it goes on like this, it will be another straight set drubbing for this overrated Goat, Djokovic

Daniel Says:

Too many mistakes on sitter shots. Its Mental now

Daniel Says:

Jeez, this can be worst than 2008.

Djoko has to do a Tsisipas and start spanking the ball like no tomorrow, beacuse everything else is not working.

Tennis Lover Says:

DJOKOVIC is getting slaughtered at court, it will be straight set win for Nadal.

chofer Says:

Tha bad news: Djokovic is way down.

The good news: The mtch it’s still short in time. But it needs Djokovic serving way up 50%.

Nadal’s serve is not dropping today.

chofer Says:

Blame Tstsipas late push.

FedExpress Says:

Nole should go and fk himself

Playing like mental giant vs Fed and then this mugfest

jatin Says:

Seems like it will be blowout in 2nd set as well.

Daniel Says:

This is the worst big match I have ever seen Djokovic play.

Nadal 3 UE to Djoko’s almost 30.

chofer Says:

If Diego will be, once again, the one who took most games from Rafa, I’ll be laughing hard.

But Djokovic is still there…

Tennis Lover Says:

Nadal isn’t playing his best level I.e. the level of 2005-2008 in RG, nor is he executing insane tennis like 2012, 2017, this is like how he played the RG final last year, very solid, impregnable in defence and depth of shots are working just enough to keep the opponents at bay, still Djokovic is getting pummeled as if there’s no tomorrow, pathetic!

Daniel Says:

1st game Nadal made a return error

Maybe its just all a Djoko plot to be the first to come down from 0-2 against Nadal in RG. Lol

chofer Says:

You CAN’T defend in these conditions like he did in other occasions. This is entirely another court.

Nadal is playing smarter and Djokovic is too clunky. His serve DOA.

chofer Says:

“The better player is also the one who reads his opponent better and adjusts to the conditions quicker”. Mats Wilander

jatin Says:

Lets see what Novak can do now.

Tennis Lover Says:

Djokovic is seriously overrated, all those wins against Fed that was enough to keep his fans simping over him and mischievously crowning him with GOAT title, right now, Nadal is doing nothing special, just playing solid enough, still djoker is woefully surrendering the match to him.

chofer Says:


Djokovic has not play good for sure. Overrated? You’re out of your mind. A bad day at the office happens. It happened to Nadal in the AO, too.

chofer Says:

Defending with top spin won’t do this day.

chofer Says:

Pretend this is the Us Open of yesteryear. because it is. Someone tell Novak.

chofer Says:

Nadal serve’s faltered. Nerves.

He didn’t pull the trigger. Djokovic will make him pay for that.

FedExpress Says:

Nole feeling it now

4-4 Deuce

chofer Says:

Well, we have a match now. Let’s see how that waste game when Nole was vulnerable plays in Nadal’s mind from now on…

Even Nadal chokes.

chofer Says:

The slice and then a long ball. That’s what Nadal needs to get him wrong footed now.

Djokovic playing more like in hard courts, as he should.

chofer Says:

defending with top spin useless, once more

chofer Says:

Nole using the right tactic (going for broke) too little too late perhaps.

But if Nadal is not able to serve out the match, watch out. He already let him into this set. Twice would be too much.

chofer Says:

Well, that’s it. Congrats Rafa and I’m pretty sure Rogerfans he’s not unhappy.

Look for his twitter today. He’ll post something about it. I’m sure.

Daniel Says:

Did not see that coming at all.

Congrats Nadal on 13th RG and #20. If he can win RG in 2020 without dropping a set at 34 yld, how many more can he win, 15?! Only age or injury can stop him in RG.

Very bizarre match from Djoko, drop shots not working at all, he maybe won 20% of those and he didn’t change tactics. Really weird and stubbor for a player his caliber.

Giles Says:

Lucky 13
Lucky 20.
What a Champ!

Anto Says:

Vamos Rafa. So glad he defeated Djoko in a GS after a very long time. He didn’t choke.

jatin Says:

Great and super solid performance by Rafa once again. The guy is God on clay, Forget about King..
So there you go, Rafa finally tied Fed’s record. Was hoping to get it prevented for as long as possible but it was going to happen one day anyway.

Congratulations Rafa and his fans for this remarkable achivement.
He did it without losing a set.

Now, The GOAT race is tied now.

the_mind_reels Says:

An amazing accomplishment for Nadal. Heartfelt congrats to the guy! Contrary to what some may believe, it is possible to be both a Fed fan (as I am) and happy for Nadal today — he thoroughly deserves it! Congrats to his fans as well.

chofer Says:


He should have taken the baseline aand think Rafa is faster than Tsitsipas. Then again, should, would, could… Rafa read these conditions better. That’s also a hidden talent.

skeezer Says:

And poof there gone lol.
Congrats to Rafa and his fans. What an accomplishment, AND record. welcome to the 20 club Rafa, you and Fed should go celebrate with a cool one.
I love how Rafa has said he is not obsessed about chasing records, he just tryin to play his best tennis and enjoy the game.

Van Persie Says:

Congrats to Rafans!

expected Nole to play better. He used wrong tactics during the 2 first sets, s#it happens 😁. Was a bit too late for him in the 3rd. Nole revenged that loss from AO 2019. Hehe

j-kath Says:

Rafa was the star today. As for Novak – much too thin – almost looks ill.

Madmax Says:

Congrats to Rafa and to Alison/Willow/J-Kath (I know Murray is your ATF (all time fave. Now they are tied. As it should be…for now.

Goodness. 20 slams a piece. Now it’s GAME ON!

Enjoy everyone.

Van Persie Says:

I think Nole may win 1-2 more slams, perhaps will he also reach 20, a bit hard, bu tpossible

Rafa may win 1 or 2 more, bit I do not aee Federer winning another slam.

Nole will end the year as Nr. 1 most likely and has a good chance to surpass 310 weeks as Nr. 1.

I really think, when many records of Fed will bea beaten, the GOAt debate will dissapear 😉

chofer Says:

As a was saying….he didn’t took THAT long…


Van Persie Says:


You are smart enough to know, he’s very diplomatic now :)
And they never were frienss., it is for the show, and you know it:D. The man knows very few of his records will remain intact, so je is congratulating people, it is nice that he has learnt to do that 😉

Van Persie Says:

Sorry for the typos, new phone 😉

Van Persie Says:

Best case scenario: he was relieved he had to congratulate Rafa, and not Nole 😉

Van Persie Says:

Borg was a really good friend of McEnroe, on the court beeing rivals of course. They used to have drinks together. The Fedal friendshib, do not buy it, sorry, they are waaay too different😁

Patson Says:

Coming here just to check how the gang is doing. Congrats to Rafa; well deserved. Nole didn’t play his best. I felt he lost his form a bit against Busta which further worsened against Tsitsipas. Basically, his game took a dip in the 2nd week of Roland Garros. I think this loss of form is what happens with age, and when Rafa is on the other side on clay in RG, even a 1% drop is fatal.

Anyway, feels weird this year that RG was the last slam of the year. And it feels weirder that RG will happen again in 8 months from now. But I’m just glad tennis is happening. This year has been so weird, I feel happiness when I see a convenience store open. The fact that RG happened albeit at a different time is in and of itself an achievement.

Once more, congrats to Rafa. Hopefully Nole will come back stronger than ever from this loss.

Madmax Says:


Here are the numbers everyone so far.

I think Novak will recover to go on and win a further 5 slams! Then he will overtake ’em all!

Fed Forever.

Have a nice evening everyone.

Kimberly Says:


Van orten Says:

Big congrats to Rafa for his big win today ! For a very long time I feared Rafa would pass or equal Roger one day in number of gs won. Now that he has done it does not bother me at all . It has been an amazing journey since I saw them first play against each other in Roland garros 2005 . Now I can truly say that I cherish all the pain and suffering from the losses and all the joy and happiness from the victories. Thank you to both Rafa and Roger for everything!

Andy Mira Says:

Thank u so much for the congrats my fellow txer’s!…really appreciate it!

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