Day 15 Diary: Federer hails Nadal's milestone 20th

 - Alex Sharp

It’s time to take one final look at what you might have missed from around the grounds at Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal Roland-Garros 2020©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

The final ball of Roland-Garros 2020 has been struck and while many are still trying to fathom how Rafael Nadal has accumulated a 13th title on Court Philippe-Chatrier, let us catch up on what else has been happening on and off court on Sunday.

Federer quick to praise Nadal's heroics

Social media lit up on Sunday night as Nadal ruled Roland-Garros once again. Having seen the Spaniard draw level with his record 20 Grand Slam singles titles in Paris, Roger Federer chipped in with his own classy touch with this heartfelt post.

“I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion,” tweeted Federer. “As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players.

“Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory. It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland-Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport. 

“I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone. I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it.”

Nadal returns the compliment

Nadal sounded flattered in his press conference, having not been able to check his social media notifications or Federer’s note.

“I was not able, of course, to watch anything. But thanks to Roger for the words, no? I think, as everybody knows, we have a very, very good relationship. We respect each other a lot. At the same time in some way I think he's happy when I'm winning and I'm happy when he's doing the things well,” the Spaniard said.

“We have been going through a great rivalry for a very, very long time. Yeah, just can say thanks to him.”

Swiatek sneaks in to catch her idol

Like millions of people around the globe, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek is a self-confessed Nadal fan.

The women's singles champion became the youngest to hold the Roland-Garros trophy since a 19-year-old Nadal triumphed (Remember a sleeveless Nadal won his first Grand Slam here in 2005?).

The Pole finished her champion’s photoshoot, including a quick word for, before heading over to watch the action unfold in person.

Check out her Instagram story below, not a bad seat…

Can't be that hard, right Sam?

Poring over the numbers of the King of Clay's Parisian dominance continues to bamboozle.

The 34-year-old dismantled the draw without dropping a set, the fourth time he had achieved the feat at Roland-Garros.

The Spaniard has been particularly stingy in 2020, surrendering just 53 games during the fortnight.

Former world No.53 Sam Groth saw the funny side, highlighting his clay-court prowess when he took just three games off Rafa (on Court Suzanne-Lenglen) back in 2016.

Swiatek wins a new fan

We all know Andy Murray is a student of the sport, appreciating the action across all the divisions.

Teenage sensation Swiatek particularly impressed the 2016 finalist. The three-time major winner has expressed his admiration for the Pole's game and breakthrough run several times on Instagram.

Uncle Toni can’t hide the tears

Here’s another feel-good story surrounding Nadal’s No.13.

His Uncle Toni Nadal, his main coach from the very start to 2017, now takes a back seat and is based at his nephew's academy in Mallorca.

Toni put his feet up, watching the final on TV, but couldn’t quite control his emotions during a TV interview. Look what it meant to Uncle Toni…

Ending as good as it began

Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic managed to defend their Roland-Garros doubles title on Sunday, nicely book-ending their 2020 season with their fourth major as a team.

Rewind to February when the formidable duo clinched their third Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open.

Mladenovic retweeted her brother earlier, who had pointed out their impressive trophy haul in a turbulent season for all.