Who are the 2020 French Open winners & losers?
After a long delay due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the French Open was moved from its typical prime time slot in May & June to October. A tournament typically played under the blue sky of Paris and in temperatures approaching 30 degrees. It appeared tough to predict the French Open winners this year as the popular opinion at the start of the fortnight was that a combination of unfamiliar weather conditions and heavier balls may create opportunities for the rest of the draw to upset the status quo.
Another determining factor was the number of fans allowed through the turnstiles. Across 13 days of the Championship there was a maximum of only 5000 fans per day totalling 75,000. A fraction of the 520,000 who attended in 2019.
However, with all the restrictions in place it should be lauded that The French Open served up a fantastic Championship. Against all the odds the event went ahead as rescheduled and on Saturday for the woman’s final it was Iga Swiatek, a first-time winner, crowned as champion. On Sunday it was the “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal who was able to clinch his 13th title at Roland Garros on his favoured Philippe-Chatrier court.
French Open Winners – Iga Swiatek
The first major trophy for Iga Swiatek may have come as a surprise to herself and her team as well as the rest of tennis, as she entered the tournament unseeded and ranked 54th in the World. She is the first Polish tennis player to win a major trophy and at 19 is the youngest ladies champion at Roland Garros since Monica Seles in 1992. Despite the unlikeliness of her story Iga only required 1hr 24mins to defeat Americas Sofia Kenin (ranked No4) and in doing so did not drop a single set throughout the whole Championship.
A young, hugely talented tennis player who was full of humility throughout her post match press conferences should be a name to remember. It was not all that long ago that a young Menorcan burst onto the scene in a similar fashion… We all know how he turned out.
French Open winners – Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal with his 13th Rolland Garros title has drawn level with his great friend Roger Federer. In typical Bull like fashion, el toro dismantled Novak’s game with his power and athleticism. All things considered (weather, change of balls, surface conditions) this win could well have been his best performance on the French clay where a lot of similarities can be drawn from his 6-1 6-3 6-0 semi-final win over Rodger Federer back in 2008 when Nadal himself announced he was at the top of his game. A year in which Rafa went on to clinch the Wimbledon title on the grass at SW19.
Rafael Nadal chose to sit out the US Open which now with the benefit of hindsight can be deemed a masterstroke. He looked fresh and focused throughout the championships – a man on a mission. As with Swaitek, Nadal did not drop a set throughout the tournament for the second time.
His 20th title is surely just another milestone on his incredible journey. A record that stands at 100 wins and 2 losses on the clay at the French who can bet against him in 2021?
French Open Losers – Novak Djokovic & Sofia Kenin
It is difficult to classify two tennis players who have reached the final of a Grand Slam as losers but knowing the competitiveness of the pair, they will see it that way. Novak Djokovic arrived at the French having not lost a completed match in the whole of 2020. Until Sunday Novak had won 37 contests in a row. His only loss coming at the US Open where he was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. In the post-match press conference Novak highlighted how strong he felt and how well he had been playing throughout the year and in the run up to the final. For Rafael Nadal to swat him aside in such dismissive fashion, truly highlights the extent to which Nadal has mastered this patch of clay on the outskirts of Paris.
In the Woman’s final Sofia Kenin could not cope with the explosiveness of Iga Swaitek whose power from both her back hand and forehand was as impressive as it was consistent. Kenin will be disappointed as she racked up a total of 23 unforced errors contributing to her own downfall.
We must not forget however, that it was only in January that Kenin herself was crowned Australian Open Champion, her first major trophy. To be beaten in straight sets in the final is a bitter pill to swallow, but at the age of 21 Kenin has an exciting future ahead.
French Open winners – The Fans
Sport and tennis alike have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. Since March there has been a near worldwide ban on fans attending sporting events. There have been very few opportunities for audiences to watch live sport and where there has, like the French Open attendances have been greatly reduced.
Fans did however manage to see Dominic Thiem’s fourth round win over Frenchman Hugo Gaston, which was a topsy turvy match that the Austrian won. In the next round however, it was Diego Schwartzman’s win over Thiem in the quarter finals on the Philippe-Chatrier which was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Touted to give Nadal a run for his money this year Thiem was able to fight back from 1 set down to 1-2 but was eventually beaten 3-2.
In the men’s doubles German duo Andreas Miles & Kevin Krawietz beat the British pairing of Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski in a game which could have gone either way. In the Woman’s third round Spain’s Garbine Muguruza & Americas Danielle Rose Collins were involved in a slug match, both big hitters going all out for their winners before the American underdog won in three sets.
French Open winners & losers conclusion
The curtain has closed on another French Open and although the playing circumstances of this championship were significantly different to the previous 92, none of the drama that is so often associated with the red clay was missing.
For the small contingent of 1000 fans on the Philippe-Chatrier they will all take a memory away to cherish, especially those that witnessed Nadal’s 13th French Open title and his record equalling 20th Grand Slam title with Federer.
Wimbledon unfortunately were not able to reschedule in 2020, but the 2021 Championship is in the diary, starting on Monday 28th June. Don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to watch the tournament with our premium hospitality packages. Give us a call or register your interest for the 2021 Wimbledon championships now.