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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic at French Open for record tying 20th major

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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic at French Open for record tying 20th major

Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic at French Open for record tying 20th major

In this unusual, surreal 2020, Rafael Nadal carved out a remarkable piece of history by reaching a landmark 20 in tennis terms.

More specifically, winning a 20th grand slam title to equal pal and fellow “Big Three” member Roger Federer’s men’s all-time record.

He did so by beating the other member of the elite group, Novak Djokovic, 6-0 6-2 7-5, under the roof on Philippe Chatrier Court amid Paris’ late afternoon autumnal chill.

Rafael Nadal bites the winning trophy after claiming the French Open title for the 13th time with a straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic.

Nadal sunk to his knees after an ace on championship point in what was a surprisingly lopsided finale to the fortnight.

But this is indeed Nadal on clay. He said the tournament’s new balls and cool weather don’t favor his spin heavy game — the coronavirus pandemic prompted organizers to move the event from its usual late May start — but the 34-year-old Spaniard overcame the conditions to tally a 13th French Open crown without dropping a set and 100th Roland Garros match victory.

He elevated his game to oust his conqueror in his lone warmup tournament, Diego Schwartzman, in the semifinals before stepping it up another notch Sunday.

Nadal compiled 31 winners to only 14 unforced errors to hand the 17-time grand slam winner the worst loss in any of his 27 grand slam finals. Nadal has never lost a French Open final but Djokovic certainly seemed to present danger for him in the finale.

He had won their last three grand slam matches and they were huge blows to Nadal — including in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros five years ago.

 

Novak Djokovic plays through pain to reach French Open semifinals

The Serb had only suffered defeat in one match in 2020 — that default at the US Open last month against Pablo Carreno Busta — and benefited from more buildup matches in the past two months than his rival.

https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1315330172221116418

Djokovic suffered neck and shoulder issues in his rematch with Carreno Busta on Wednesday, when he donned long sleeves, and one couldn’t help but wonder if something was bothering the world No. 1 again.

The long sleeves were back, two days after he sported short sleeves in his semifinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas that started in the evening and ended around 10:30 p.m. local time. He reverted to the short sleeves after he fell behind by two sets.

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He lost a set 6-0 at a major for only the fourth time in his grand slam career according to website Tennis Abstract and even though Djokovic has used the drop shot extensively on the clay, he attempted an eye-catching four in the first game.

His unforced error tally soared to 52.

Nadal was dominant throughout the final at Roland Garros.

He was broken from 40-15 in the opening game to give Nadal the best possible start in front of the limited number of fans in attendance. They were capped at 1,000 amid the pandemic.

The duo exchanged several extended rallies that saw both players well outside the doubles lines, Nadal habitually coming out on top.

Djokovic was given a small glimmer of hope by saving a trio of break points to begin the second yet the respite didn’t linger.

In his next service game, Nadal did break through for a 2-1 advantage.

With Djokovic unable to put away a shot near the net, Nadal crushed a forehand down the line to rub salt in the wounds.

Djokovic’s play was a clear marker that he wouldn’t be the first man in 83 tries to rally from two sets down against Nadal at Roland Garros and an inevitable break came at 2-2 in the third after Nadal continued to knock on the door.

However, it wasn’t straight forward from there.

Nadal was broken for the first time and Djokovic got the crowd going with his emphatic celebration.

It kickstarted a brief renaissance as he went ahead 4-3 in the third.

Djokovic was now moving better and launching himself into shots but Nadal met the challenge and yelled “come on” to hold for 4-4. Finally it was a contest.

Djokovic fended off a break point thanks a gutsy second serve, backhand combination, but cracked at 5-5 on a double fault wide.

Nadal then served it out to love, capping the historic contest with the ace out wide to seal another French Open victory.

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Adesokan loses to Spanish opponent in badminton women’s singles

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By Gistflash News

July 26, 2021

Team Nigeria’s Dorcas Adesokan on Monday lost to Clara Azurmendi of Spain in her opening game in the women’s singles event of the badminton competition at the 2020 Olympic Games.

In the group play stage game of Group C fixtures at the Musashino Forest Plaza court in Tokyo, Adesokan lost 0-2 (10-21, 2-21).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 23-year-old will go on to face An Seyoung of South Korea on Tuesday evening at the same venue.

This will be in another Group C fixture, which will determine her progress in the competition.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori will later in the day return to the same venue.

In continuation of their Group B campaign in the men’s doubles event, they will take on the pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen from 6 p.m Tokyo time.

The pair of Olofua and Opeyori had lost their opening group game on Saturday against Team Japan.

NAN

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Edem crashes out of table tennis women’s singles at Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 26, 2021

Offiong Edem on Monday bowed out of the women’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Edem lost 4-1 to Lily Zhang of the U.S at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, in spite of winning the first set 15-13.

After beating Hungary’s Dora Madarasz in her opening round fixture, Edem failed to maintain the momentum as she fell 2-11 and 2-11 in the next two sets under nine minutes.

The 34-year-old Nigerian did fight back, but she could not stem the tide as she lost 8-11 and 6-11 in the fourth and fifth sets respectively.

NAN

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Brazil hold Cote d’Ivoire in Olympic football, as Egypt, South Africa lose

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By Gistflash News

July 25, 2021

Rio 2016 champions Brazil were held 0-0 by Cote d’Ivoire in Olympic football on Sunday while Egypt and South Africa lost to Argentina and France respectively.

Germany, France and Spain also claimed first victories, and hosts Japan are the only side with the maximum points.

Coming off an opening 4-2 win over the Germans in a rematch of the Rio final from five years ago, Brazil found no opening against their African opponents.

They even had Douglas Luiz sent off in the 14th minute.

Cote d’Ivoire lost Eboue Kouassi with 10 minutes left in the game in Group D which both sides lead on four points apiece.

Germany follow on three after a tense 3-2 victory over Saudi Arabia, with Felix Uduokhai scoring a 75th-minute winner although team-mate Amos Pieper was sent off eight minutes earlier.

Japan meanwhile improved to maximum six points in Group A from a 2-1 win against 10-man 2012 gold medallists Mexico who have three points.

Mexico are just as France who came from behind three times in a late 4-3 win over South Africa.

Teji Savanier scored a stoppage-time winner after Andre-Pierre Gignac levelled three times for a hat-trick he completed in the 86th minute.

Rigobert Rivas gave Honduras a late 3-2 victory against New Zealand in Group B where all four teams have three points.

South Korea won the other game 4-0 against Romania, with a brace from Valencia’s Lee Kang In.

Spain moved top of Group C with four points past Australia from a 1-0 against them, thanks to Mikel Oyazabal’s 81st-minute winner.

They finish on Wednesday against Argentina who got their first points in a 1-0 against Egypt.

dpa/NAN

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