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He was extremely impressive, most notably just the focus, lack of errors (practically zero) and executed his gameplan perfectly
It was the most impressive I have seen from him in years, Djokovic honestly didn’t even play THAT bad, certainly not for that kind of scoreline. Nobody can touch Nadal on clay when he’s in the zone like that
 

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It reminded me of the great Bjorn Borg in 1978 destroying defending champion* Vilas (and the rest of the field), 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Borg didn't drop a set all tournament and lost an all-time record low 32 games for the tournament (4.57 ganes/match). Curiously, Lookout Mt. Tennessee's huge serving "Rocket" Roscoe Tanner gave the Iceman the most trouble in the tournament, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(5) in the R16. Tanner, though seemingly glued to the baseline in the first two sets, began coming to the net in the 3rd set making many volleys and shook up Borg enough to get errors on passing shots to get to a tiebreaker. Other than that match, the Silent Swede was nearly unplayable, losing only 20 games in 6 other matches (3.3 games/match).

The Italian Adriano Panatta was the only player to beat Borg at Roland Garros, doing it twice, and you guessed it, with an unusual S&V game, especially cutting approach slices that Borg said bothered him, and Panatta was fast and talented, imposing at the net, leaping horizontally before Becker made it famous, and a dangerous player when he wanted to be. At RG, he beat Borg in '73 when Borg was very young, not quite 17, and in '76, when Borg was not quite 20.

* Borg didn't play at RG in 1977 due to being locked out by the French Tennis Federeration because Borg had a contract with WTT (World Team Tennis). Some WTT tournaments were more lucrative at the time than majors.

Respectfully,
masterclass
 

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I would rank Nadal RG final match this season tied 1st with 2008 RG final against Federer both god level matches but Federer was closer to his prime than Djokovic this season. in saying that Djokovic was unbeaten in competed matches So its most likely a tie between these two matches at least in grand slams.
 

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great post

Curiously, Lookout Mt. Tennessee's huge serving "Rocket" Roscoe Tanner gave the Iceman the most trouble in the tournament

Indeed, and more than confirmed by Tanner in 1979, when he forced Borg to the 5 sets in Wimbledon final and above all beats him in the NS US Open where he will be dangerous each time.

1979US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardQFRoscoe Tanner62 46 62 76

1980US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardQFBjorn Borg64 36 46 75 63
1981US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardQFBjorn Borg76 63 67 76

The Italian Adriano Panatta was the only player to beat Borg at Roland Garros, doing it twice, and you guessed it, with an unusual S&V game

Confirmed by Tanner .. but also by Pecci in 1979 finals who did better than defend themselves, surely more than Vilas clay super player, also by varying s / v, even if Borg's experience prevails at the end.
 

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Must certainly be up there with the best matches he has played, considering how important the match was. Granted, Djokovic was errorprone but a lot of that came from Rafa's defense. Thoughts?
Depends what you mean by best match. He stepped up and played a great match - much higher level than expected. But one of best matches he played? Like overall level? Nowhere near.

But a great match given the conditions. I always expected the 3-0 scoreline but could have seen Djokovic winning more than 7 games.
 

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It reminded me of the great Bjorn Borg in 1978 destroying defending champion* Vilas (and the rest of the field), 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.
Um, Nadal RG 2008 is closer to Borg RG 1978 than this year. 🤔

Nadal 2008 was 3 times as monstrous and even Djokovic 2008 was better (6-4 6-2 7-6), taking 12 games from this Nadal and forcing him to a tie break was a performance. 😐

As for the 2008 mononucleosis Federer ... even the 37-year-old 2019 Federer was better. 😅
 

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Very impressive, Rafa always peaks for RG and especially RG finals. Though of course it must be said that Djokovic level was mediocre, as it was vs PCB and Tsitsipas in previous rounds
 

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People are going to underrate this performance because of the match stats showing Djokovic's unforced errors.
But how else were the points going to end?
They couldn't end with Djokovic's winners, because Nadal was retrieving like a freak.
I remember noticing that Djokovic was hitting insanely hard, and I was amazed that Nadal was able to control the points when many of those balls would usually have beaten Nadal.
Make no mistake, Djokovic would have beaten everyone else in the draw that day.
Djokovic's reactions during the match said it all, he couldn't believe Nadal was playing this way.
Nadal looked nothing like his semi-final level or any of the other matches.
 

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People are going to underrate this performance because of the match stats showing Djokovic's unforced errors.
But how else were the points going to end?
They couldn't end with Djokovic's winners, because Nadal was retrieving like a freak.
I remember noticing that Djokovic was hitting insanely hard, and I was amazed that Nadal was able to control the points when many of those balls would usually have beaten Nadal.
Make no mistake, Djokovic would have beaten everyone else in the draw that day.
Djokovic's reactions during the match said it all, he couldn't believe Nadal was playing this way.
Nadal looked nothing like his semi-final level or any of the other matches.
I noticed this a lot in the matches Faker lost to Dull during his prime like say USO 2013. Faker was hitting much harder than he normally does and was making many more errors.
 

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I would have Nadal 2014 AO semi final Against Federer in the top 3 all time Nadal matches in majors as well. that was Insane god level like match by Nadal owning Federer, there also others like 2010-13 us open finals that could also be Nadal best.
 

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It was definitely the most impressive performance of 2020 and likely the most memorable. It came out of nowhere considering his previous matches in the tournament, but he employed his strategy in a match as well or better than he ever has. Djokovic looked clueless.
 

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The year 2020 was again a very good year for Rafael Nadal. Winner of his thirteenth Roland-Garros and world No. 2 at the end of the season, the Majorcan has managed this very special season. Guest of L'Equipe, his coach Carlos Moya made a positive assessment of his player's year, even if a tournament seems to have stuck in Nadal's throat. “Losing at the Australian Open to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals didn't affect him much. On the other hand, it wasn't really the case following his loss in the semi to Daniil Medvedev, it was. difficult to accept. Rafa felt good during this masters and he finally never felt so close to winning. It was hard for him to digest this elimination. "

ATP - Le plus gros regret de Rafael Nadal sur sa saison 2020...
 

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Nadal was focused and solid but that's pretty much it. Djokovic was just horrendous. God only knows what was wrong with him. I guess he underestimated Nadal?, it that was crazy and really stupid thing to do. Serves him right to lost that way.
Nobody else would have beaten Djokovic that day.
I'm not sure how many people saw the match, but I did, and Djokovic was hitting the cover off the ball and Nadal was forced into the most incredible retrieving.
If Nadal played the Final the way he played the semi-final (which was good, but not as athletic), he'd have lost the Final or at least lost a set or 2. But instead he got injections to numb the pain in his knees, and delivered a masterclass.
Djokovic's facial expression said it all, he could not believe that his best shots were being sent back so viciously.
 

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It’s Clay, Novak’s least accomplished surface esp. after not wisely closing out SF vs Tsitsi sooner while Nadal his confident consistent self at RG, closing out Shortman in straights. Same scenario that happened to Thiem after going to 5 sets vs Gaston & left without enough in tank for SF.
 
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