Rafael Nadal claims COVID-19 pandemic tempered his title win
Rafael Nadal poses with the Mousquetaires CupImage source: AFP

Rafael Nadal claims COVID-19 pandemic tempered his title win

Rafael Nadal was happy to lift his 13th Roland Garros title but he is aware of the challenges posed by COVID-19

Rafael Nadal was happy to lift his 13th French Open title but he is aware of the challenges posed by the coronavirus and said that his win was tempered by the COVID-19 outbreak.

He has been acutely aware of the challenges posed by the pandemic, claiming Sunday that his victory was tempered by the crisis which had also seen crowds limited to just 1,000 people a day at Roland Garros. He said, "It's an important day for me, but I'm not stupid. It is still a very sad situation worldwide. If you ask me what's my feeling, of course I am super happy.”

“On the other hand, I am not that happy as usual because the situation is tough for most of the people around the world,” he added.

Nadal on Sunday won a record-extending 13th French Open title after beating his rival and world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the final. This is Nadal's 20th Grand Slam title that equals Roger Federer's record for most major wins for a male singles player.

This was also his 100th win at the French Open, having lost just two matches since making his senior debut at Roland Garros in 2005, which was also the year he won his first title at the clay court Grand Slam.

In a match that lasted two hours and 42 minutes, Nadal served out the opening set with an ace, thus holding Djokovic, who was looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win all four Grand Slams twice. It was only 48 minutes into the match that Djokovic managed to win his first game.

The only shift in momentum in the match came in the last set when Djokovic matched Nadal step for step. It was a double fault that gave Nadal the chance to serve for the title, and he saw it through with relative ease.

This is the first time since the 2014 French Open that Nadal managed to beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam final. In major finals since then, Djokovic had beaten Nadal in a five-set thriller at the 2018 Wimbledon final and then the 2019 Australian Open final in straight sets.

(With agency inputs)

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