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Tennis Recap of the 2020 Men’s Grand Slam Finals: Blowouts, Thrillers, Nerves, and More

Novak Djokovic rallied from two sets to one down defeating Dominic Thiem to collect his eighth Australian Open title.

By Ricky Dimon

Although there were only three Grand Slams in 2020 instead of the usual four in 2020, they combined to have a little bit of everything in their finals. There were thrillers and blowouts, chokes and clutch finishes, usual champions and newcomers, packed houses and emptiness.

There may not have been any Wimbledon, but there was both triumph and disaster all the same.

Australian Open: (2) Novak Djokovic d. (5) Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

In terms of both quality and drama, this was by far the best slam final of the year and one of the best matches of the year in general. Thiem appeared to be in line for his first major title when he took a two sets to one lead and Djokovic was out of sorts, but as usual the Serb picked up the pace in the pressure moments on the biggest stage. Djokovic eventually triumphed in three hours and 59 minutes for his eighth Australian Open title and 17th slam title overall.

U.S. Open: (2) Dominic Thiem d. (5) Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6)

Playing from behind in his second slam final of 2020 was more to Thiem’s liking. The 27-year-old Austrian looked down and out when he trailed Zverev two sets to love and by a break in the third at Flushing Meadows. Nonetheless, his experience at this stage compared to an opponent who was playing in his first major title match may have been the difference. Thiem managed to force a fifth set, during which both players were incredibly tight most of the way. But it was the No. 2 seed who came up with a flurry of unbelievable forehands to force a tiebreaker before Zverev cracked in the deciding moments of the tiebreaker. Quality-wise, this match left a lot–and I mean a lot–to be desired. But the drama amidst such high stakes was off the charts.

Rafael Nadal dominated Novak Djokovic winning his record-extending 13th Roland Garros championship.

French Open: (2) Rafael Nadal d. (1) Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5

You never know what to expect in tennis–especially not in 2020. On paper, a Nadal-Djokovic matchup should result in the best of any Grand Slam final. It turned out, however, to be by far the least interesting of the three. Of course, don’t tell Nadal fans it was a bad and/or boring match! For them, and their man, it was great! The second-ranked Spaniard was at his typical best in Paris despite unusual fall conditions. He more than doubled his unforced error count (14) with winners (31) to capture a 13th French Open title and tie Roger Federer atop the all-time men’s singles Grand Slam count with 20.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.