2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic’s words came to bite him back after the French Open 2020. Ivanisevic, who coaches World No.1 Novak Djokovic, had asserted that “Nadal has no chance under these conditions” before the final. However, contrary to everyone’s expectation of a marathon final, Rafael Nadal thrashed Djokovic in straight sets. It was arguably Djokovic’s worst defeat in a Grand Slam final as he got bageled in the first set.
Nadal avenged his 2019 Australian Open loss to Djokovic and won a record 13th title at Roland Garros. The Spaniard equaled his arch-rival Roger Federer’s record of winning 20 Grand Slam championships.
In an interview with Sports Club, Ivanisevic talked about the lopsided final and admitted that his comments about Nadal not standing a chance were a little too ambitious. However, he stood by his earlier statement and contended that he sincerely believed in Djokovic triumphing at the French Open.
The host questioned Ivanisevic about the cause of Djokovic being unable to tackle the defending champion. Ivanisevic outrightly asserted that Nadal played phenomenally and outplayed Djokovic tactically from the start.
“Nadal outplayed him tactically and in everything, it is the same final from the Australian Open last year – just as Novak ‘killed’ him then, so Rafa has now retaliated with the same measure,” said Ivanisevic.
The Croatian seemed convinced about the conditions being more favorable for Djokovic. However, he admitted that the poor start to the match, and Nadal winning the first two sets made the comeback impossible.
“It seemed to me that the conditions were more suitable for Novak, but it was as if he didn’t show up and Nadal ground him, ground him, ground him, then it was over, it was impossible to come back from 2-0 and break,” added Ivanisevic.
It was Djokovic’s third loss to Nadal in the Roland Garros final; the previous two losses were in the 2012 and 2014 final.