Counting down to the semi final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Chris Oddo of Tennis Now gives us an insight into their rivalry, by the numbers.
After Friday’s blockbuster semifinal, nobody in the Open Era will have met more than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Join us for a peek inside the numbers of their storied rivalry.
By Chris Oddo
The biggest match of the year deserves a little of number crunching, don’t you think? So on the eve of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s heavily anticipated French Open semifinal, we go inside the numbers.
The number that both Nadal and Djokovic want desperately. Nadal is bidding to become the first male player in tennis history to win any of the four Grand Slams eight times. Djokovic, hasn’ t ever won the French Open before, but he is bidding to become the eighth male player to complete the career Grand Slam.
The number of times Nadal and Djokovic have met previously. Nadal leads the all-time series 19-15, but the Serb has won 8 of the last 11.
Rafael Nadal’s ridiculous record at Roland Garros, which features seven titles and only one loss, to Robin Soderling of Sweden in the round of 16 in 2009.
The date that Djokovic and Nadal played their first tour-level match. Djokovic retired after dropping the first two sets, 6-4, 6-4, in the Roland Garros quarterfinals that year.
Number of victories that Djokovic has earned against Nadal in clay-court finals. The Serb is the only man to have achieved this feat. Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Madrid and Rome finals in 2011. He defeated Nadal in the Monte Carlo final this year.
Nadal’s record vs. Djokovic on clay. The Spaniard also owns a 5-3 alltime record in clay-court finals against Djokovic, but he has dropped three of his last six titles to the surging Djokovic.
Nadal’s edge over Djokovic in sets that end in a tiebreaker. Nadal is also 4-1 against Djokovic in clay-court tiebreakers.
Nadal’s record against Djokovic in matches that have gone to a deciding set. Nadal won the first four, but has lost the last three. However, the Spaniard does own a 3-0 edge over Djokovic in deciding sets played on clay.
Nadal and Djokovic will tie the Open Era record for meetings on Friday, moving past Lendl-McEnroe (34) and Agassi-Sampras (34) and drawing even with Connors-McEnroe and Connors-Lendl.
Nadal is bidding to move into a tie for 3rd on the all-time Grand Slam title list with his 12th title. He would tieRoy Emerson and trail only Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (17).
Remarkably, Djokovic is the only man to own three or more Grand Slam victories against Nadal. Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray each own 2.
Djokovic’s record, in sets won, against Nadal in four previous matches against Nadal at Roland Garros.
Number of players that have won the first two Grand Slams in a calendar year since 1992. Jim Courier was the last man to do it, Djokovic is attempting to accomplish the rare feat at Roland Garros.