Australian Open: Unending rivalry as Djokovic, Nadal gun for 25th Grand Slam final battle

Novak Djokovic has declared Rafael Nadal as the greatest rival in his glittering career ahead of their historic 2019 Australian Open final showdown on Sunday – along with revealing he’s been trying to usurp the Spaniard even before they take to court to battle each other for the grand prize.

In a rematch of arguably the most physically demanding tennis match of all time from the 2012 Australian Open final (which Djokovic won in five sets after six hours), the two modern-day legends of tennis square off for a record 53rd time on Sunday at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic, who narrowly leads their head-to-head 27-25, is undefeated in Australian Open finals with a flawless 6-0 record and is trying to become the first man to win seven singles titles in Melbourne, while Nadal is aiming to become just the third man behind Rod Laver and Roy Emerson to capture each of the four Grand Slam titles on at least two occasions.

Nadal has put together one of the most dominant Grand Slam runs of his career at this Australian Open, advancing to the final for the loss of just 48 games, which is his fewest when reaching the title match outside of Roland Garros. The Spaniard ruthlessly picked apart Stefanos Tsitsipas by a 6-2 6-4 6-0 scoreline in the first semi-final – and so impressive was the performance, that Djokovic said he went out in his semi-final against Lucas Pouille with the intention of losing fewer games.

The Serbian ultimately succeeded, sprinting past the Frenchman 6-0 6-2 6-2 in a spectacular performance in which he only committed five unforced errors.

Djokovic went on to label Nadal as his main rival on tour throughout his career. The pair have played each other in 24 finals throughout the course of their legendary careers, including 11 straight matches between 2011 and 2013.

Nadal won the first five finals they contested, but Djokovic has since turned the ledger in his favour, winning seven straight from the 2011 Indian Wells Masters to that famous 2012 Australian Open, overtaking the Spaniard for a record of 14-10.

Their last match in a final came three years ago at the 2016 Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, which Djokovic won in straight sets.

After playing each other in 24 Grand Slam final, here is the head-to-head stat between Djokovic and Nadal

2006Roland GarrosClayQFNadal6-4 6-4 RET
2007Indian Wells MastersHardFinalNadal6-2 7-5
2007Miami MastersHardQFDjokovic6-3 6-4
2007Rome MastersClayQFNadal6-2 6-3
2007Roland GarrosClaySFNadal7-5 6-4 6-2
2007WimbledonGrassSFNadal3-6 6-1 4-1 RET
2007Canada MastersHardSFDjokovic7-5 6-3
2007Tennis Masters Cup (China)HardRRNadal6-4 6-4
2008Indian Wells MastersHardSFDjokovic6-3 6-2
2008Hamburg MastersClaySFNadal7-5 2-6 6-2
2008Roland GarrosClaySFNadal6-4 6-2 7-6(3)
2008Queen’s ClubGrassFinalNadal7-6(6) 7-5
2008Cincinnati MastersHardSFDjokovic6-1 7-5
2008Beijing OlympicsHardSFNadal6-4 1-6 6-4
2009Davis Cup WG R1ClayRRNadal6-4 6-4 6-1
2009Monte-Carlo MastersClayFinalNadal6-3 2-6 6-1
2009Rome MastersClayFinalNadal7-6(2) 6-2
2009Madrid MastersClaySFNadal3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(9)
2009Cincinnati MastersHardSFDjokovic6-1 6-4
2009Paris MastersHardSFDjokovic6-2 6-3
2009ATP World Tour FinalsHardRRDjokovic7-6(5) 6-3
2010US OpenHardFinalNadal6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2
2010ATP World Tour FinalsHardRRNadal7-5 6-2
2011Indian Wells MastersHardFinalDjokovic4-6 6-3 6-2
2011Miami MastersHardFinalDjokovic4-6 6-3 7-6(4)
2011Madrid MastersClayFinalDjokovic7-5 6-4
2011Rome MastersClayFinalDjokovic6-4 6-4
2011WimbledonGrassFinalDjokovic6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3
2011US OpenHardFinalDjokovic6-2 6-4 6-7(3) 6-1
2012Australian OpenHardFinalDjokovic5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5
2012Monte-Carlo MastersClayFinalNadal6-3 6-1
2012Rome MastersClayFinalNadal7-5 6-3
2012Roland GarrosClayFinalNadal6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5
2013Monte-Carlo MastersClayFinalDjokovic6-2 7-6(1)
2013Roland GarrosClaySFNadal6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7(3) 9-7
2013Canada MastersHardSFNadal6-4 3-6 7-6(2)
2013US OpenHardFinalNadal6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1
2013BeijingHardFinalDjokovic6-3 6-4
2013ATP World Tour FinalsHardFinalDjokovic6-3 6-4
2014Miami MastersHardFinalDjokovic6-3 6-3
2014Rome MastersClayFinalDjokovic4-6 6-3 6-3
2014Roland GarrosClayFinalNadal3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4
2015Monte-Carlo MastersClaySFDjokovic6-3 6-3
2015Roland GarrosClayQFDjokovic7-5 6-3 6-1
2015BeijingHardFinalDjokovic6-2 6-2
2015ATP World Tour FinalsHardSFDjokovic6-3 6-3
2016DohaHardFinalDjokovic6-1 6-2
2016Indian Wells MastersHardSFDjokovic7-6(5) 6-2
2016Rome MastersClayQFDjokovic7-5 7-6(4)
2017Madrid MastersClaySFNadal6-2 6-4
2018Rome MastersClaySFNadal7-6(4) 6-3
2018WimbledonGrassSFDjokovic6-4 3-6 7-6(9) 3-6 10-8

Djokovic and Nadal clash for the 2019 Australian Open title on Sunday January 27 at 7.30pm local time (8.30am GMT).

Blueprint Whatsapp

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply