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RAFAEL NADAL – “KING OF CLAY” – HEADLINES TONIGHT’S FRENCH OPEN COVERAGE, STARTING AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

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STAMFORD, Conn. – May 20, 2020 – Rafael Nadal, the “King of Clay,” headlines eight hours of French Open finals during this week’s NBC Sports From the Vault, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Nadal’s three victories tonight include two matches against rival and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

This week, NBC Sports presents nearly 55 hours of classic sports events from the past 40 years, featuring Notre Dame Football, the Orange Bowl, MLB classics, Wimbledon, French Open, PGA TOUR and Ryder Cup.

NBC Sports’ French Open play-by-play commentator Dan Hicks will introduce tonight’s tennis coverage. Match presentations will include a specialized ticker featuring live tweets. Fans can tweet #NBCSNVault for the chance to see their tweets live on air.

Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 – FRENCH OPEN

Tonight’s coverage highlights three (of a record-breaking 12) French Open tournament victories by Rafael Nadal, including two against rival and 2009 French Open champion Roger Federer.

2005 was the beginning of an unprecedented run of success at Roland-Garros for Nadal, who won his first French Open and Grand Slam title. Nadal earned his second consecutive French Open title in 2006, handing Federer his first loss in a Grand Slam final. In 2011, Nadal’s sixth French Open title tied former Swedish star Bjorn Borg for the most wins at Roland-Garros.

Commentators for all three encore men’s final matches include: Ted Robinson, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.
EVENT TIME (ET) NETWORK
2006 French Open Men’s Final 7 p.m. NBCSN
2011 French Open Men’s Final 10 p.m. NBCSN
2005 French Open Men’s Final 12:30 a.m. NBCSN

2006 FRENCH OPEN MEN’S FINAL AT 7 P.M. ET

In 2006, No. 2 seeded Rafael Nadal successfully defended his French Open title by defeating top-seeded Roger Federer, 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6 (4), becoming the youngest back-to-back Roland-Garros winner since Bjorn Borg in 1974-75. Nadal’s 2006 victory also helped him to an all-time record 81 consecutive clay court victories from 2005-07.

Federer suffered his first loss in a Grand Slam final in the only major he had yet to win at the time. Coming into the match, Federer had an 0-3 record against Nadal in 2006, but a perfect 44-0 record against his other opponents.

The match also marked the first meeting of the top-two seeded men in a Roland-Garros final since 1984.

2011 FRENCH OPEN MEN’S FINAL AT 10 P.M. ET

World No. 1 and top-seeded Rafael Nadal defeated third-seeded Roger Federer, 7–5, 7–6 (3), 5–7, 6–1, in the 2011 French Open final, which lasted three hours and 40 minutes. Tied with Bjorn Borg for the most wins at Roland-Garros, Nadal’s sixth French Open title also marked the first time since 2001 that the men’s top seed won the tournament.

With the victory, Nadal improved to 5-0 overall (4-0 in finals) against Federer at Roland-Garros, and earned his 10th Grand Slam title. The only time Federer won the French Open was in 2009, a tournament he didn’t face Nadal, who was upset by eventual French Open runner-up Robin Soderling in the fourth round.

2005 FRENCH OPEN MEN’S FINAL AT 12:30 A.M. ET

In 2005, 19-year-old Rafael Nadal won his first French Open and Grand Slam title after defeating Argentina’s Mariano Puerta, 6–7 (6), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5. This marked Nadal’s first appearance at Roland-Garros and first Grand Slam final. With his victory, Nadal became the first player to win the French Open in his Roland-Garros debut since Mats Wilander in 1982, and the youngest French Open champion since 17-year-old Michael Chang in 1989.

This was also the beginning of an unprecedented run of success at Roland-Garros for Nadal, who would go on to earn a record-breaking 12 French Open titles.

Below is each night’s highlighted content throughout the week:

Wednesday, May 20: French Open
Thursday, May 21: Notre Dame Football
Friday, May 22: MLB Classics
Saturday, May 23: PGA TOUR (Arnold Palmer Invitational) and Ryder Cup
Sunday, May 24: PGA TOUR (THE PLAYERS Championship) and Ryder Cup

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