After doing a head to head and Stats Comparison of Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi, it is time to do one for one of the greatest sporting Rivalries of all time and probably the 2 greatest men’s tennis players of all time along with Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam titles and is looking hungry for more whereas Novak Djokovic has won 20 Grand Slam titles and is looking to win his 21st at Wimbledon to get closer to Nadal. These 2 have entertained us all and I am so lucky that I have got to witness this rivalry live.
The 2 players have faced each other an astonishing 59 times with Novak Djokovic leading by the barest of margins by 30-29 and they have faced off in all 4 Major Grand Slam finals. This was also voted as the third greatest rivalry in the 2000s and is also the greatest Tennis rivalry of the open era. So, let’s see their Head to Head and Stats Comparison.
Head to Head
As I said before that Nadal and Djokovic have faced off against each other 59 times with Novak leading 30-29. 27 Matches have been on hard courts, 28 have been on clay courts and only 4 have been on grass. On the Clay courts it is Nadal that dominates this rivalry as he is 20-8 on clay. In the hard courts it is the opposite as Novak Djokovic leads 20-7 on hard courts. And they are 2-2 on Grass and another encounter likely in the upcoming Wimbledon championships. Their first meeting was in the 2006 French Open where Nadal won because Novak had to retire because of an injury in the 3rd set. The amazing fact is that Rafael Nadal has the first 2 Grand Slam titles this year and is looking for the calendar Slam and Novak is also at his peak so we can expect to see more such classics between the Two.
Also Read | Top 5 Best Performances of Pete Sampras
The 2009 Madrid Masters semi final is their first memorable match where it was a 4 hours and 2 minutes match which was the longest in Madrid Masters history and Nadal had to brave a ferocious Novak and he won it in 3 sets but it wax a classic. In the 2011 Wimbledon Final it was 1 vs 2 and here Novak Djokovic won the match in a 4 set thriller and became the first Serbian player to win the Wimbledon title and he overtook Nadal as the number 1 player in the world after that win. In the following 2011 US Open Final it was another 4 hour 10 minutes classic where Novak Djokovic won the US Open after winning the Wimbledon title. The 2012A Australian Open Final clocked at an incredible 5 hours and 53 minutes was the longest Grand Slam final and it was a 5 setter where Novak Djokovic won again 7-5 in the 5th set and created history. In the 2018 Wimbledon semi final it was another 5 hours and 15 minutes classic between the 2 and here Novak Djokovic won the match in the 5th set. The last memorable Encounter we will talk about is the 2021 French Open semi final which was such a classic that the French Government had to alter their rules of not allowing fans post 11 pm. It was a 4 set thriller after Nadal won the 1st set and then for Novak to come back and win the next 3 sets was one of the best wins in his career.
Also Read | Top 5 Best Performances of Andre Agassi
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have 42 Grand Slam titles between them and they have been a part of 61 Grand Slam finals combined. They have 59 matches played between them and the 60th likely being at Wimbledon. They have both been world number 1 and Novak Djokovic has been World Number 1 for a record 320+ weeks and now Novak is number 1 and Nadal is number 3. We all are looking forward to more such classic matches between the 2 once in a lifetime players.