Two of the three greatest male tennis players in history met on the clay of Roland Garros’ Philippe Chatrier court for what may prove to be the most important finals of their lives on Sunday as Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win his 20th Grand Slam title.
With the race on between the two men – and Roger Federer of course – to be called the greatest of all-time (or GOAT), Nadal knew that if he won, he would draw level with Federer on 20 Grand Slams, while Djokovic could reach 17 titles with victory, bringing him to within swinging range of Nadal’s 19 Grand Slam wins before this match.
That Nadal won 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 with comparative ease says just how well the Spanish player played against his fiercest recent rival in his career.
After this match, Djokovic and Nadal have now played 56 games against each other in their careers, and while this match only reduced Nadal’s deficit in total to 27 wins and 29 defeats, in Grand Slam terms, the Spaniard is the man. With a record of 9-6 against Djokovic and 10-4 against Federer, Nadal has reigned supreme against two opponents who have been at their absolute peak across separate halves of his own career.