World no.1 Novak Djokovic had to settle for runners up against the seemingly infallible Rafael Nadal at the 2020 French Open and the Serb was all praise for his Spanish rival after the match.

World number one men’s singles player Novak Djokovic heaped praises on Rafael Nadal despite losing the French Open final to the Spaniard on Sunday. Nadal won his 13th Roland Garros title by beating Djokovic on straight sets.

The Serb, who was looking to become the first men’s player in open era to win all the Grand Slams at least twice, lost 0-6, 2-6, 5-7 to Nadal on Sunday.

“What you are doing in this court is unbelievable. Throughout your career you have been a great champion,” said Djokovic.

“Today you showed why you’re king of the clay. I have experienced it on my own skin. It was a very tough match for me today, obviously I’m not so pleased with the way I played but I was definitely overplayed by a better player today on the court.”

Djokovic also congratulated the Roland Garros organisers for successfully holding the clay court Major. Originally scheduled to be held from May 25 to June 7, the 2020 French Open had to be postponed to its eventual dates of September 27 to October 11 due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has been a fantastic four weeks. The situation is very difficult for everyone and we were all worried whether we can play the sport we love. So thank you to all the organisers for making this possible,” said Djokovic.

Meanwhile, In a match that lasted two hours and 42 minutes, the 33-year-old Nadal served out the opening set with an ace, thus holding Djokovic. It was only 48 minutes into the match that Djokovic managed to win his first game.

This is Nadal’s 20th Grand Slam title that equals Roger Federer’s record for most major wins for a male singles player.