When the decision to move the Roland Garros in the autumn to cope with the aftermath of the global pandemic was announced, there was some concern about Rafael Nadal's chances of triumphing again in Paris. After the premature elimination at the Italian Open, the former world number 1 has once again denied his detractors by winning the French Grand Slam for the 13th time in his career, the fourth without losing even a set along the way.
The 34-year-old Mallorcan demolished Novak Djokovic in the final, reaffirming his superiority on clay. Thanks to that success, Nadal also equaled Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam titles by crowning a very long chase.
Speaking of his Roland Garros triumph in a recent interview for his sponsor KIA, Rafa admitted that he had not celebrated the victory in Paris as in the past. The Spaniard did not manage to break the Finals taboo, giving in the semifinals to a wild Daniil Medvedev in the last edition at the O2 Arena in London.
Nadal: "It was a different Roland Garros"
"It was obviously a very special moment for me, both professionally and personally. For me it meant a lot to win Roland Garros again and equal the 20 Grand Slam record.
However, I cannot deny the fact that the celebration was not as cheerful as on the occasion of my past victories," explained Nadal. Spain was one of the countries most affected by the Coronavirus, forcing Rafa to stop training for a couple of months.
"Roland Garros this year did not have the same joy that a tournament full of people gives you. Normally you feel like you are surrounded by loved ones, but the fact that we were isolated from everything made the tournament more subdued than normal.
It is a fact that it took place in a period full of bad news, so I was unable to fully enjoy that success," said Nadal. Rafael Nadal, with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and all the others greatests tennis stars on the planet will come back for the upcoming Australian Open 2021, which will be held in Melbounre from 8 February: it will be the most awaited sports event of the first part of the new season.
It will be a very spectacualr season, and all of us hope without the problems of the last one, with some presence of the crowd in the courts across the world.