Rafael Nadal powers his way to an awe-inspiring 13th Men’s Singles Final in the French Open with the new RM 27-04 Tourbillon on his wrist.
2020 was a most unusual French Open. But one thing most definitely did not change. In this of all places, in this of all years, it seemed more reassuring than ever. Rafael Nadal won the Men’s Singles! There he was, ritually tapping his racket against his heels, powering aces and winners over the net before biting his tee shirt in victory, just as he always does.
This is Rafa’s 13th French Open title. As any one lucky enough to be on the Philippe-Chatrier Court will testify, the Rafa of today is even better than the somewhat shy 19-year-old who took his first steps on the hallowed clay in 2005. Ever since, the Spaniard has simply been almost impossible to beat. He has played here 102 times. Knock off the odd 2 and you’re left with the incredible number of matches he has actually won.
Facing him over the net this year was the World Number 1, no less: Novak Djokovic. Two titans of tennis. But even Djokovic’s devastating dropshots were no match for the unbelievable geometry with which the Spaniard routinely deconstructed them. It was 55 minutes before Djokovic even won a game –and that’s not a sentence you read very often! Rafa powered his way through each of the three sets. The tears of pride welled in Rafa’s eyes as he clutched the trophy, yet again! When Rafa mentioned the ‘family’ in his victory speech. It felt somehow more personal, more intimate, precisely because such trying times have proved so challenging.
Family also means ten years of partnership with Richard Mille. Not for nothing have both men use the word ‘unstoppable’ to sum up their very special friendship. Rafael won, wearing his new RM 27-04 Tourbillon, capable of resisting accelerations of over 12 000 g’s – and, judging by some of the more awesome rallies, it was easy to understand why that might indeed be necessary! The case is innovative in its use of an exclusive material for the brand in watchmaking, TitaCarb®. This is a high- performance polymer for a high-performance champion. A 38.5% carbon fibre content lends TitaCarb® exceptional tensile strength—370 MPa (3,700 kg/cm2)—making it one of the most resistant polymers in the world —for one of the world’s most resistant, and iconic sportsmen.
To call Nadal the King of Clay seems an understatement. His victory puts him on equal footing with arch-rival Federer, each now with 20 Grand Slam titles each. This, amazingly, was Nadal’s 999th career win, proof it were needed that he’ll be back. ‘Thank you everyone and see you next year’, he said to a genuinely moved crowd, promising to return, hopefully in more normal times.