World number one Novak Djokovic will be up against the second-ranked Rafael Nadal in the final of the men’s singles draw at the 2020 French Open. Get regular updates in this live blog on this grand finale from the Roland-Garros as the hunt for the title makes for an interesting viewing.
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Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic Live Score
Djokovic 0-6, 2-6, 5-7 Nadal (* denotes next server, please refresh for the latest score)
Other Djokovic v Nadal Details
- Match Timing: 3 pm local time, 2 pm BST, 9 am Eastern, 6.30 pm India, 10 pm Japan (next day), 12 midnight Melbourne (next day).
- Nadal v Djokovic Predictions & Tips Here
- Live Streaming & TV Options Here
- Stats Preview Here
Nadal sinks to his feet after that ace, beaming ear to ear as his box, coach Carlos Moya including on their feet applauding the champion.
The Spaniard congratulates Novak for a great tournament and apologises for today. Speaks of the pandemic and how the world is facing one of its worst moments in the history and adds everyone is in it together and hopes to overcome it soon.
“I don’t think of it as 20th Grand Slam win, I just think this is a Roland-Garros win, love playing here.”
Congratulations to Rafa and the team and the family. Not happy with the way I played but I was outplayed by the better player today. Today you showed why you are the king of clay, I experienced it in my own skin. Situation isn’t great worldwide but we have this opportunity to play this sport we love, so I thank everyone who made this possible.
It’s a pleasure sharing this court with you [Novak], hope to continue facing you in the battles to come in the future too. Want to continue saying thanks to everyone who helped organise the tennis here in such difficult circumstances. Well done and thank you for everything.
Thank you very much who is there, on the bench, friends, family and coaches and those who haven’t been able to come, without your support it would have been difficult.
It’s not even dream winning here, it’s out of my thoughts, this court is the most important courts in my tennis career. I thank the fans for supporting me all throughout, I hope we are back here with the full crowd come 2021. Merci Beaucoup.
Back to back errors from Djokovic give Nadal a 30-0 lead and another unforced error from the Serbian racquet makes it three championship points for the Spaniard.
And an ace. To finish it off! Grand Slam Number 20 for Nadal!
All match Djokovic has looked like he is playing a doubles match against Nadal/Nadal. Alone.
Only in the third set has one of the Nadals disappeared.#RG20
— Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) October 11, 2020
Nadal wins the first point to put the pressure right on Djokovic but handling pressure is something the number one does rather well. He crashes through with a couple of winners…
…only to lose the next two to award Nadal a break-point. Crucial, crucial moment in the match, especially for Djokovic, and he starts off with a poor first serve. Drama on the second serve as it’s called in but Nadal immediately appeals and it’s called out on a second look.
BREAK for Nadal!
Serving to stay in the set, Nadal hits a backhand wide to begin the game, but is helped by something similar from Novak to get to 15-15. Some smart tennis with his backhand slice helps Nadal take the lead and Djokovic’s inability to remain in the next point gives his opponent two game-points.
Nadal converts the very first one with Djokovic hitting it long. The Serb continues to complain about his boots though, slipping and what-not.
Slightly better start from Djokovic as he wins two of the first three including a rare unforced error from Nadal very early in the rally. That doesn’t stop the Serb from dishing out one of his own, before getting himself into a solid position to force an error.
Game-point for the very pumped up Djokovic who looked like asking the ball-boy to throw the ball quicker at him. Deuce follows very soon and then Nadal rushes to retrieve a drop shot and then forces a winner to the Djokovic smash. Djokovic steps up to save the break-point with a big serve and follows it up with a serve and volley to get a game-point.
And a solid smash ends up helping Djokovic hold, going 5-4 up.
Djokovic looked like he had the better of the first rally only to hit the drop-shot into the net. And while Nadal goes 40-15 up, Djokovic recovers from a near-lost position to hit a monstrous forehand that forces a Nadal error. Unfortunately for Djokovic he misses a forehand, hitting it wide and that allows Nadal to level the set.
That turns out to be one of the easiest holds of the match for Djokovic, held to 15 and he has now taken a 4-3 lead in the set. Can he now make it two breaks in a row to go ahead? That would be something.
— Arvindh Santhosham (@YaaruDaHindu) October 11, 2020
Don’t think so because then again I have seen Kyrgios giving up. That said, he looks baffled nothing’s working.
Djokovic has bit of a chance at 15-30 but an excellent serve wide gets long. That said, a seventh unforced error from Nadal gives Djokovic a break-point to get him a chance to draw level. Not happening on this one as Nadal runs down Djokovic’s drop-shot and plays one of his own to force an error out of his opponent.
The Serb runs Nadal around the court again – and does Nadal run or what! – but this time around it helps him get his second break-point of the game, which by itself is a rarity. And Djokovic breaks back to level things off! He is pumped.
Do we have a game on our hands!
A 35th and 36th unforced error from Djokovic and a 26th winner for Nadal give the latter three break-points. And the world number one makes it it a 37th UE to gift the break away. Horrendous game.
Before the start of this game, here’s how things looked:
Tables are turning?
Unforced errors in third set so far:
Djokovic – 2
Nadal – 4
A reach, probably.#RG20
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) October 11, 2020
Djokovic starts off with his 12th forehand winner, but Nadal retaliates with the drop-shot of the match, stunning effort that leaves Novak with no chance. Still, it’s 15-15, and Djokovic has that slight opening. Novak hits the next one long, but gets Nadal to do the same next to make it 30-30.
A second serve from the deuce court to Djokovic’s backhand is hit too long and Nadal then bends low to hit a winner in the empty court to win the game. This has been a classy effort, already talks of the best ever on clay given the context.
Djokovic falls behind 0-15 and then 15-30 before hitting another unforced error at 30-30 to give Nadal another break-point. Nadal hits it long to give his opponent bit of a respite before Djokovic goes for a serve and volley and gets him a game-point.
Can this be the change of tactic that helps? Needs to get a few first serve in as Djokovic digs in and holds to go 2-1 up.
While we are wondering what can Novak do, here’s what an expert has to say.
Novak needs to play the long game now, digging into rallies instead of trying to finish them off by hitting big. That is clearly not working, and is only serving to hand crucial points to Rafa by leaking unforced errors #RG20
— Mahesh Jagadeesan (@maheshjag) October 11, 2020
Can Djokovic bring some confidence back into his game? He wins the first point nicely with a bit of a working over, but cannot make it two in two. Nadal does to Djokovic what he had done to him on the first point and then hits a winner, before a solid serve forces Novak to hit the return long.
A couple of easy points wins Nadal the game to level it 1-1 with his level refusing to drop even an inch. Djokovic continues to need something special, something different but unsure where will that come from.
It begins like it has been all the way with Nadal reading the Djokovic drop-shot to convert it into a winner. The Serb tries it again and this time around, Nadal hits it wide. Another one hit long for a change from the Nadal racquet – a rare unforced error – followed by a superb serve gets Djokovic to 40-15.
This was the exact scoreline which Djokovic was at in the first game of the first set to lose but this time around, he finishes it off with a smash to go 1-0 up.
Three quick points gets Rafa to three set-points, one of which is saved with a double-fault. A rare one from Nadal, his first, and Djokovic thunders a few around the court to force an error out of the Spaniard.
That’s two of them saved, but there’s another one to go. Nadal gets a time violation, heh, but an excellent serve seals it for the Spaniard. Easy going so far as he wins the second set.
Djokovic needs something special, or a bathroom break.
Djokovic gets a rare, rare easy hold. I mean he has won just two games in the match anyway. And he looks up with a wry feeling, thanking whoever it up there for allowing that luxury. Incidentally he would have also seen the closed roof.
Nadal to serve for the set.
He can do nothing wrong, cries out the commentator and he is referring to Nadal. It’s 30-0 and Nadal looks like he is behind in the rally but somehow he manages to run all around the court, and conjure up a winner to get to three game-points.
And then another winner to make it a game won to love, probably the first of the match.
A couple of drop-shots gets Djokovic two points there but a double-fault at 30-30 helps Nadal win another break-point. Djokovic serves the first ace of the match to bring it level before we get to one of the rallies of the encounter! It had everything including a drop-shot from Djokovic which Nadal wheels at and hits a winner. 71 meters run by Nadal on that point, 59 m from Djokovic.
And a forehand hit wide helps Nadal consolidate his lead by making it his second break of the set.
6-0, 4-1 Nadal and we aren’t in the first round of the tournament here.
You know Djokovic would like to break back almost immediately and he looks like he is up for it by winning the first point but then it’s back to service as usual. Three points in a row for Nadal to give him a couple of game-points.
Djokovic isn’t done though as he rushes into the net twice to send away a winner, thanks partially to a ball hit too short by Nadal. The Spaniard stretches Djokovic in the next point to send a sizzling forehand winner to the Serb’s left. Djokovic has an easy chance to put away a forehand winner to reduce it to deuce again but the world number one, clearly rattled, smashes it into the net.
He isn’t even surprised by the looks of things.
Not seen Novak look so lost on his own serve in a while but that’s how it seems right now. I think there’s a fear when he gets to his service he might get broken and it seems like that again when he falls 0-30 down.
Djokovic isn’t the number one for nothing and he quickly levels up with back to back points but just as one is looking at Djokovic to get back into the scheme of things, he hits one too powerfully and long. Break-point.
Saves it and how. Hits one to Nadal’s left, just on the line and then another to the right, again hitting the line for a winner.
A fourth break-point of the set is saved by Djokovic within three shots in the rally, which, as the TV commentator points out, is a rarity today, but then a drop-shot results in Nadal reading it brilliantly and converting it into a winner. Djokovic then hits into the net for his 21st unforced error to get Nadal an important break.
Unforced error stats – Djokovic 21, Nadal 3!
This is getting slightly interesting now. Nadal starts off with a winner but Djokovic retaliates back with one of its own and then gets Nadal to err and go 30-15 up on the Spaniard’s serve. A poor return off the Nadal second serve gets it back level and then a longish rally ends with Djokovic hitting the ball wide.
Nadal holds with a poor return from the world number one, and one hour into the match, it’s 1-1 in the second set.
Djokovic wins the first point but Nadal is quick to respond and goes on a rampage. Aided by Djokovic’s unforced errors, probably because he wants to finish off the points quickly, Nadal gets himself a couple of break-points.
The Serb saves one with a solid serve and winner, and then runs Nadal around to force him to hit wide and get it to deuce. Another break-point followed by another deuce, before Djokovic pushes Nadal back and then advances to the net to force the Spaniard to go wide but he hits the net.
A surprising unforced error out of nowhere gets it level but Djokovic gets a nice serve out wide to take it to another game-point. He needs this desperately, and he finally wins it. Nearly after an hour since the start of the match, Djokovic has won a game.
Stop. The. Press.
Ok… the popular thinking was that closing the roof would suit Djokovic.. I wasn’t so sure, as it makes the conditions slightly quicker, which with everything else so slow Nadal needed imo
— 🎗️ Paul McNamee (@PaulFMcNamee) October 11, 2020
Djokovic remains in touch by winning the second point to level it at 15-15, but hits one long and the next one wide to give Nadal two set-points. If you thought it was going to be bagel first set, please consider buying a lottery tonight.
Because that’s how it turns out, a bagel as Nadal wins it off his first set-point. 6-0 first set. Wow.
Finally a drop-shot that gets Djokovic a winner – he had been missing a few – and another forehand winner gets the Serb 30-0. And very soon it’s 40-0 and three game-points for the world number one. A double-fault pulls it back but he still has a couple of them remaining…
…of which Djokovic hits another one long. Not sure this is the kind of tennis that got him the Rome title and to the final here but there’s no doubting Nadal’s level has taken off. That’s nothing to do with what happens next as Djokovic fails to find his footing and smashes one into the net before losing the next one too to face a break-point.
40-0 up to a break-point would be a shocker for most – like it was for Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals – but Djokovic is made of sterner stuff and he overturns that with a winner to get it back to deuce. A poor drop-shot gives Nadal a second break-point but another drop-shot helps him bring it back to deuce.
Not for long, a couple of rallies go Nadal’s way as he breaks for the third successive time. This has been decent tennis from Djokovic, not his best, but decent, but Nadal’s playing at a different level.
This is some excellent hitting from Djokovic but this is an extraordinary defensive play from Nadal. Forces Djokovic into hitting into the net. The next point, however, he converts the point with a brilliant smash which was set up by a solid rally.
Many a times during a rally, Djokovic looks like he has gotten the better of his opponent only for Nadal to turn on a switch that, um, switches things around in a jiffy. And he does that again to go 30-15 up, before some excellent court coverage by Djokovic followed by a drop-shot to wow the 1000-odd spectators gets it to 30-30.
Djokovic then hits a backhand winner down the line to get his first break-point of the match, but Nadal saves it with a forehand winner of his own. Again, a break-point which comes at the behest of Djokovic converting a seemingly tough position into an excellent shot that the advancing Nadal only volleys into the net.
A working over from Nadal forces one long from Djokovic to bring it back to deuce before what can be termed as a rally of the match so far gets Djokovic his third break-point. Nadal loses his footing, still recovers to get to the ball but fails to finish off the point by hitting it into the net.
Another break-point saved, and an excellent serve from Nadal forces a poor return and game-point for a 4-0 lead. He does that with an ace to go 4-0 up. Three break-points saved in there.
Djokovic starts off well as Nadal hits one wide but the Spaniard retaliates with a bullet forehand whipped down the line to make 15-15. Another duel goes Nadal’s way as Djokovic fails to generate enough height on the lob and the Spaniard smashes it away.
A double-fault gives Nadal a couple of break-points, but an excellent drop-shot followed by a superb lob helps him finish the point off to save the first of them. The second one, as poorly done as the previous was good – hits an unforced error into the net.
Second break in a row and since taking that 40-15 lead in the first game, Djokovic’s play has been a letdown. For now.
Excellent start for Novak as he engages Nadal in a cross-court rally before hitting a winner but Nadal levels up with a good serve followed by a winner. Some brilliant cross-court hitting again and Djokovic has to really stretch on his forehand and nearly makes his running forehand, just long in the end.
An unforced error from Djokovic gives Nadal another couple of game-points like the previous game. Can Nadal avoid going the Djokovic way? Oooh brilliant, a sizzling backhand from Djokovic cross-court gets him a winner and the Serb then defends superbly to convert a horrible situation to a winning one and gets it back to deuce.
This isn’t too different from the first game so far but it’s Nadal who gets another game-point as Djokovic misses another drop-shot and hits the net before a long rally finishes in favour of Djokovic who hits it long. 2-0!
A Grand Slam final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal without a full stadium of fans sucks. #RG20
— GameSetMatch 🎾 (@Tennis20MAD) October 11, 2020
Here we go. A fault to start things off but Nadal sends the second serve long after bit of a rally to get Djokovic off the mark. Nadal moves Djokovic around next and forces him deep following which the world number one is unable to get the ball over.
A good second serve allows Djokovic to play an early drop shot – that’s a shot he has mastered this tournament – and while Nadal is able to get to it, he hits it wide. Another drop-shot and while this time around Nadal does well to get to it, he is unable to get control of the rally after that gives Djokovic a couple of game-points.
And a third drop-shot in a row, but this doesn’t quite come through. Nadal was waiting but the ball never arrived. A game-point saved. And a deuce with a smashing backhand across the court.
Incredible rally! Another drop-shot and Nadal had to really stretch to get to it, and then has to rush back to the baseline for the Djokovic lob but he does all of it and converts defense into attack to win the point. Break-point from 40-15 down.
And BROKEN! Nadal has an early break as he converts another tough position into a winning one. How does he manage that again and again.
We are still a few minutes away from the start of this French Open men’s singles final. It’s been quite a tournament this, from being postponed from May to September and then re-postponed a week later to allowing 10k fans/day for starters to only a 1000 by the end.
All said and done though, it’s due credit to the organisers for pulling off a tournament as big as the French Open – as was the case with the US Open oranisers too – amidst a pandemic that’s playing havoc elsewhere.
We already have all the rest of the winner decided in the tournament, with Iga Swiatek clinching the women’s singles title and the pairs of Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies and Tímea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic grabbing the men’s and women’s doubles titles respectively.
Dominic Stricker won the boys singles title while the girls singles trophy was lifted by Elsa Jacquemot.
What a final we have in store at the French Open 2020. The two favourites at the start of the tournament, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have overcome their odds and opponents and in most parts easily too, to make it here and will face off in what looks like one of the most delicious Grand Slam finals in recent times.
Nadal has lifted the trophy a whopping 12 times here and it’s not been too often he has been usurped by another player as far as the winning odds are concerned. Djokovic’s presence has had that effect.
The bookmakers were a confused lot as a result. At times, Nadal was the start to lift the trophy but then three rounds into the French Open this year, Djokovic’s clinical wins turned the tide in his favour.
Then, a set lost to Pablo Carreno-Busta, a neck issue before that match and Stefanos Tsitsipas coming back from the brink to almost stun him meant Nadal is back as a favourite to win this. Having not dropped a set all tournament has helped Nadal, especially to a player who had beaten him at the Rome Masters.
Hence, the favourite for now. Not by much, but is there all the same.
This rivalry has seen many a previous chapters, but in more recent times, Djokovic has trumped both Nadal and Roger Federer in head-to-heads. That being said, it’s different setting when it comes to Roland-Garros, where Nadal has trumped many a player, including Djokovic because that’s what he does for fun.
And while Nadal has lost some of that clinical nature, especially coming back from a mid-season tour suspension, Djokovic won’t have it as straightforward as he has had all year.
Pity there would only be 1000 fans inside the stands because most would pay a premium to be in there. And if it were to get close to what was on offer at the 2019 Wimbledon final or the 2012 Australian Open final, they would have got more than their money’s worth.
Follow our live blog & updates here from 3 pm local time (2 pm BST or 9 am Eastern time) for the Djokovic-Nadal match.