Iga’s coronation in Rafa’s kingdom | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:56 PM, October 14, 2020

Iga’s coronation in Rafa’s kingdom

Rafael Nadal tied Roger Federer for the men's all-time lead in Grand Slam titles on 20 -- not to mention collecting his 13th Roland-Garros crown and 100th victory in southwest Paris -- by downing Novak Djokovic in the men's final.

It was cooler than normal at Roland-Garros, he was playing with new balls and Court Philippe-Chatrier looked a little different, but it had little impact on Nadal — judging by the final result.

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Thirteen times he has made it past the quarter-finals and all 13 times the Spaniard has walked away with the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Not only did he overcome the toughest rival of his career in the final but he downed the man who beat him at the Italian Open last month, Diego Schwartzman, in the semi-finals."Rafa is Rafa," said Schwartzman. "I think he knows how to improve. He knows how to practice, how to do everything. After Rome, he goes straight to practice."

Beating Nadal at Roland-Garros, as Djokovic suggested on the eve of the final, continues to be the most daunting challenge in tennis.

"This is his house with all the titles he's won," the Serb said on court Friday following his semi-final.

No one can argue with that.

All hail Queen Iga

Iga Swiatek made history on Saturday as Poland's first-ever Grand Slam singles champion with victory over No.4 seed Sofia Kenin in the final.

The 19-year-old is the youngest Roland-Garros women's winner since Monica Seles triumphed in Paris as an 18-year-old in 1992 and is the first teenager to lift the women's singles trophy here since Iva Majoli in 1997.

Swiatek, ranked 54 in the world, is the lowest-ranked women's Roland-Garros champion since the rankings were introduced in 1975. She is the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to lift the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen without dropping a set.

The next batch is coming

You've heard of the 'NextGen?' How about the 'BabyGen?' Okay that might be a stretch but a young quartet made their mark in Paris, led by 19-year-old Sinner.The calm, big-hitting Italian has been talked about for a while but it was still a remarkable achievement to become the first man to make the quarter-finals on his Roland-Garros debut since…Nadal in 2005.

He was also the youngest men's Grand Slam quarter-finalist since…Djokovic in Paris in 2006.

He was joined in the later stages by wild card Hugo Gaston and Sebastian Korda, both 20, and Daniel Altmaier.

Gaston was the last French man standing and pushed Thiem to five pulsating sets in the fourth round in only his second Slam main draw after topping Wawrinka in five.

Korda -- the son of Grand Slam champion Petr Korda -- qualified and ousted veterans John Isner and Andreas Seppi prior to exiting to his idol, Nadal, in the fourth round.

And Altmaier also reached the fourth round. At 22, he would normally be labelled 'NextGen' but the raw, flashy German has played far less than his contemporaries due to several significant injuries.

An autumnal drop shot heaven

If you're a fan of the drop shot, this Roland-Garros was made for you.

Players seemingly used it more than ever before because of the lower bounces stemming from the chillier fall temperatures.

Gaston, a left-hander, and Djokovic may have been the duo who most frequently utilised the finesse shots.

Gaston hit a whopping 55 against Thiem, according to the New York Times, and Thiem subsequently offered up his fair share against Schwartzman.



Who's winning the race?


Grand Slam Titles

Federer: 20

Nadal: 20

Djokovic: 17

Most Weeks as World Number One

Federer: 310

Djokovic: 290

Pete Sampras: 286

Ivan Lendl: 270

Jimmy Connors: 268

Nadal: 209

Most ATP Titles Won

Connors: 109

Federer: 103

Lendl: 94

Nadal: 86

Djokovic: 81

Most ATP Masters Titles Won

Djokovic: 36

Nadal: 35

Federer: 28

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