Djokovic–Nadal rivalry

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Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal

The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry is between tennis players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who are engaged in a modern-day tennis rivalry. The rivalry is the most prolific of the Open Era. The two have faced each other 52 times with Djokovic leading 27–25.[1][2][3] Between 2006–2010, this rivalry was often overshadowed by the historic Federer–Nadal rivalry, but it started to become widely recognized after they played their first Grand Slam final against each other at the 2010 US Open. The first half of the rivalry was dominated by Nadal (who led 16–7 after the 2010 season) while the second half has been dominated by Djokovic, winning 12 out of the last 15 matches. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history. It was the first rivalry to involve meetings at all 4 Grand Slam finals (including four consecutive Grand Slam finals) and a record 27 Masters Series matches. Their 2012 Australian Open final is considered to be one of the greatest matches of all time, and Mary Carillo and John McEnroe both commented that that Australian Open match and the 2013 French Open semi-final match were the two best matches played on hard and clay courts respectively.[4] The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry was listed as the third greatest rivalry in the last decade in 2009 by ATPworldtour.com despite its only starting in 2006.[5]

The first ever meeting between the two occurred at the 2006 French Open in the quarterfinals, where Nadal prevailed after Djokovic was forced to retire with an injury in the third set. This match initiated the rivalry, with Djokovic later commenting to the media that he understood what he needed to do to beat Nadal and claiming Nadal "was beatable on clay". Their first final appearance came at the 2007 Indian Wells Masters tournament, where Nadal won the event, and this was just the second time they had met on tour. Djokovic's first win was in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Miami Masters in their third meeting. From March 2011 to April 2013, the pair contested eleven consecutive meetings in the championship match, the only duo to ever achieve such a feat in the open era.[6]

Some of their matches are considered to be classics and among the greatest matches of all time including the 2009 Madrid Masters Semifinal, 2013 French Open Semifinal and 2018 Wimbledon Semifinal. The 2012 Australian Open final has been lauded as the greatest match ever played by some long-time tennis pundits, analysts, and former players and legends of the sport. Each one has openly stated the other to be their greatest rival and motivator to play better tennis as evidenced by the streakiness in this rivalry. This is considered to be one of the greatest rivalries ever by players, coaches, and pundits.[7]

History[edit]

Rafael Nadal 2006
Novak Djokovic 2007

2006[edit]

The first meeting between the two, which was the only one for this year, was at the French Open (Roland Garros) in the Quarterfinals. The victory went to Nadal in this match via a retirement from Djokovic after Nadal took the first two sets in fours in a matter of 114 minutes.[8]

2007[edit]

In 2007, the pair met seven times, Nadal winning five of them.

The first encounter took place in the finals of the Indian Wells Masters. This was Djokovic's first Masters 1000 final whereas Nadal was bidding for his 6th. Nadal won the match.[9] Djokovic, however, got his revenge the following week, defeating Nadal for the first time in the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters in just 97 minutes.[10]

The pair met twice during the summer clay-court season, Nadal continuing his dominance on clay. He defeated Djokovic en route to the title in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters[11] and went on to do the same on his way to a third Grand Slam title, at the French Open a month later. Nadal defeated Djokovic, who was playing his first Grand Slam semi-final.[12] They then met for the first time on grass, in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. After having split the first two sets, Djokovic was forced to concede the match to Nadal on a retirement.[13]

At the Canada Masters in Montreal, Djokovic scored his second victory over Nadal, defeating the Spaniard in the semis en route to winning his second Masters 1000 title.[14]

The final encounter between the two during the year was in the round robin phase Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.[15]

2008[edit]

Djokovic and Nadal met six times in 2008, Nadal improving his career advantage against Djokovic to 10–4, winning four of their encounters.

Djokovic defeated Nadal in the semifinals at Indian Wells Masters in their first meeting in the year.[16]

Nadal defeated Djokovic in the semis of the Hamburg Masters.[17] In their third consecutive meeting at the French Open semi-finals, a dominant Nadal defeated Djokovic in the semis, going on to win his fourth consecutive French Open title.

Next, they met in their second final at the Queen's Club in London, Nadal winning his first grass-court title at the expense of Djokovic in the finals in straight sets.[18]

In their fifth encounter of the year at the Cincinnati Masters, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the semis.[19]

The sixth and final battle of the year came at the Beijing Olympics in the semi-finals, Nadal winning the match. He would go on to win the gold medal.

2009[edit]

They met seven times in 2009. Nadal won the first four of their encounters, Djokovic going on to win the last three.

The pair met several times on clay and matches involving them became the highlights of the clay-court season. They met for the first time in a clay-court final at the Monte Carlo Masters, Nadal winning a closely contested three-setter and his 5th consecutive title at the event.[20] With the no. 3 ranking at risk, Djokovic had to defend his title at the Rome Masters to avoid dropping to No. 4 in the world. He successfully made it to the final but lost to Nadal in straight sets.[21]

They then met for a third consecutive tournament on clay, in the semis of the Madrid Masters. Nadal won a grueling encounter by saving three match points in the process.[22] The match, at 4 hours and 3 minutes, was the longest three-set singles match on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era (later surpassed by the Olympic semifinal between Federer and Del Potro in 2012, which did not have a tiebreak in the third set).[23] The match was voted the best match of the year by fans and critics alike. Djokovic admitted afterwards that it took him a long time to get over this loss.

During the US Open series, Djokovic defeated Nadal for the first time that year at the Cincinnati Masters in 92 minutes.[24] Djokovic then won his first Masters 1000 title of the year, crushing Nadal in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Paris.[25] The pair then had their final meeting of the year, at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic won the match, going 2–1 in the round robin phase.[26]

2010[edit]

They met only twice in 2010, and Nadal won both encounters.

Djokovic and Nadal faced off for the first time in a Grand Slam final at the US Open. Nadal won the match in four sets, thus becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to complete a Career Grand Slam. This match took 3 hours and 43 minutes to get finished.[27]

Their second encounter came during the Round Robin stage of the ATP World Tour finals, where Nadal beat Djokovic in two sets.[28]

2011[edit]

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal during the 2011 US Open final

The pair met six times, all in finals, with Djokovic winning all six encounters, including two Grand Slam finals.

Coming into their first encounter of the year at the Indian Wells Masters, Djokovic had not lost a match the entire year and continued his fine form by beating Nadal to win his second Indian Wells title.[29]

Two weeks later, the pair met again in the finals of the Miami Masters with Djokovic winning two sets to one.[30]

Djokovic and Nadal clashed twice during the clay-court spring. In the final of the Madrid Masters, Djokovic scored his first ever victory over Nadal on clay, in straight sets.[31] He managed the same feat at the Rome Masters, defeating Nadal in straight sets.[32]

Djokovic and Nadal met in a final for the fifth time in the year at Wimbledon, arguably their biggest encounter of the year. In a 2-hour 28 minute contest, Djokovic overcame Nadal in four sets, winning his first Wimbledon title.[33]

They met for a second consecutive final at the US Open, a rematch of the final from the previous year, in which Nadal had prevailed. Djokovic won his third Grand Slam title of the year, overcoming Nadal again in four sets.[34]

2012[edit]

The pair met 4 times, all in finals, with Nadal winning three of the four encounters and Djokovic winning only one, which was a Grand Slam final.

Djokovic won the 2012 Australian Open final after an epic five-set battle vs. Nadal. The match lasted 5 hours 53 minutes, the record for the longest match in a Grand Slam final in the open era. At the end of the match, both players were so exhausted they could not stand for the trophy presentation. Nadal called it "the greatest loss in his career" and "the best match he ever played". Djokovic also commented on the match, saying this was a moment he would never forget, and considered it a career-defining victory for himself.[35]

Djokovic and Nadal met again in the 2012 Monte–Carlo Masters 1000 final. This time, Nadal won his eighth consecutive title after defeating Djokovic in two sets. It was the first time since November 2010 that Nadal had beaten Djokovic. They had met in seven finals from January 2011 to January 2012, all of which Djokovic won.

The pair met again in the 2012 Rome Masters final at the Foro Italico where Nadal defeated Djokovic in straight sets and regained the trophy he has won 5 times before. Djokovic was the defending champion

The fourth battle of the year came at the 2012 French Open final. For the second time in tennis history, two opposing tennis players played four consecutive Grand Slams finals against each other. This was a match of historic proportions as either Nadal would have broken Björn Borg's record of six titles at the French Open or Djokovic would have become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four Grand Slams in a row. Nadal eventually emerged victorious after 3 consecutive losses in Grand Slam finals, prevailing in 4 sets after multiple rain delays that forced the final to be concluded on the following Monday afternoon. With this victory, Nadal became the most successful tennis player at the French Open, winning seven French Open titles.[36]

2013[edit]

The pair met 6 times, sharing three victories each.

Djokovic and Nadal contested the Monte Carlo final for the third time, but this was their first meeting since the 2012 French Open final, and this was the twelfth time in the last thirteen occasions in which they met in the championship match.[37] Nadal failed to win his 9th title after Djokovic defeated him in straight sets.[38]

At the 2013 French Open Nadal came in as seven-time champion and was drawn in the same half as Djokovic, made possible by his 3rd seed. Nadal won the 2013 French Open after beating Djokovic in the semifinal and Ferrer in the final. His semi-final clash with Djokovic was widely considered one of the greatest clay court matches ever played, and Nadal was 2 points away from victory in the 4th set but was denied by Djokovic and taken to a fifth set where he went down a break 4–2 only to break back and ultimately triumph 9–7 and take out a hard-fought 4-hour, 37-minute victory.

It was a unique encounter in that it was almost the mirror opposite[39] of the almost six-hour 2012 Australian Open final they contested where Djokovic was leading Nadal 2–1 sets and was 2 points away from victory in the 4th set only for Nadal to come back and win the 4th set in a tiebreaker and go up a break in the 5th set. In exactly the same fashion the player leading by a break in the 5th set committed a hauntingly uncharacteristic error (Nadal missed an easy backhand pass at 30–15, 4–2 in the fifth in Melbourne, while Djokovic ran into the net after hitting a what would have been a clean winner at 4–3 in the fifth in Paris) only to spark a momentum shift for their opponent to break back and ultimately win the match – Djokovic broke back to win the Australian Open 2012 Final 7–5, while Nadal broke back to win the French Open 2013 semi-final 9–7. Nadal suggested that it was almost "poetic justice" that he won this match after losing their brutally epic encounter in Australia.[40]

This was only the second time Nadal had been pushed to five sets at the French Open in 9 years (The first being against John Isner in the 1st round of the 2011 French Open) and he remains unbeaten in 5-set encounters on clay.

Djokovic and Nadal met again at the Montreal Masters 1000 semifinals, with Nadal prevailing in three sets. Nadal would then go on to win the Rogers Cup, marking his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. The US Open final saw a third Nadal-Djokovic matchup, which Nadal took in four sets. The match showed Nadal's fighting spirit, as he clawed down from 0–2 at a set apiece, and from 4–4, 0–40 on his own serve. He would take the title to beat Djokovic for the sixth time out of seven meetings.

The two tennis players faced again in the China Open final with Djokovic winning in straight sets; however, by reaching the final, Nadal took the world #1 ranking away from Djokovic. They met again in the finals of the ATP World Tour Finals, where Djokovic again won in straight sets, winning his third year-end championship, and denying Nadal his first. Nadal finished 2013 as world #1, with Djokovic as world #2, having won 24 consecutive matches after losing the US Open final to Nadal. Their domination in 2013 was also apparent in the year end rankings: together, they amassed 25,290 points, more than the numbers 3 to 7 combined.

2014[edit]

In 2014, the pair met three times, all in finals, with Djokovic winning the first two encounters, and Nadal winning the last one. Djokovic started off by beating Nadal in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in straight sets, and then supplanted that victory with a three-set victory over Nadal in Rome. In the process he acquired a 4-match winning streak against the Spaniard, and also the first player to have amassed 4 clay-court wins over Nadal. Their final meeting of the year came at the French Open, where Nadal went on to win the match after dropping the opening set to Djokovic.

2015[edit]

In 2015, the pair contested four matches with Djokovic winning all four. They met at the semi-final stage of the Monte Carlo Masters Series event. The match was competitive in parts with Nadal producing, by his own assessment, his best performance yet of the season. However, a very in-form Djokovic prevailed. They faced each other at the quarter-final stage of the French Open where Djokovic beat Nadal in straight sets. It was Djokovic's first victory against the Spaniard in seven meetings at the tournament, Djokovic also broke the record for most sets won against Nadal at the French Open (7), became the only man to ever beat Nadal at all four of the Grand Slam tournaments, became the first man to beat Nadal in straight sets in a best of five format match on clay, and also the only man to beat Nadal on clay 6 times. This was also only the second time that Nadal has been defeated at the French Open, after losing to Robin Soderling in the 2009 edition of the tournament. Nadal is now 70–2 at the French Open, and a 92–2 record for best-of-five set matches on clay.[41] Nadal played Djokovic in the Beijing final, where he was comprehensively beaten by the Serb. They met again in the semi-final of ATP World Tour Finals in London which Djokovic won in two sets and leveled his head-to head with Nadal for the first time at 23–23.

2016[edit]

In 2016, the pair has met three times with all three matches going to Djokovic. In the Doha final, Djokovic won in a convincing straight set victory bringing him into the head-to-head lead for the first time. Djokovic won again the semifinal at Indian Wells[42] and at the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters putting the rivalry at 26-23 in Djokovic's favor with a 7 match winning streak against Nadal.

2017[edit]

Nadal easily defeated Djokovic in the Madrid Open semifinals (6-2, 6-4) to reverse a trend of losses. This was one of the most dominating wins for Nadal over Djokovic in recent years.

2018[edit]

Nadal beat Djokovic in the semifinals at the Italian Open in two sets 7-6, 6-3, in their first match in over a year.

Djokovic beat Nadal in the semifinals at Wimbledon after five exhilarating sets, lasting over five hours.

Famous matches[edit]

2009 Madrid Masters Semifinal

With Nadal widely regarded as invincible on clay courts by many in the tennis world,[43][44] Djokovic emerged as one of the few who could test his dominance on it, and the closest Nadal came to losing for the first time in this tournament came in May 2009. It was the longest Masters match and semi final in Open Era history. Djokovic ranked No. 4 in the world, took the first set 6–3. But the world No. 1 Nadal remained resilient, saving three match points and eventually ending up winning in three sets after four hours and two minutes[45] in what he called one of his greatest wins in his career.

2010 US Open Final

Nadal needed this title to complete his Golden Career Slam, creating much hype before the tournament. Even more so when he would have to face Djokovic who had an excellent record on this surface. Nadal had perfected his serve to the point where it became his most dangerous weapon.[citation needed] He ended up winning the match and becoming the third man in the Open Era (after Andre Agassi and Roger Federer) to complete a Career Grand Slam and the second man in the open era to complete a Career Golden Slam after Andre Agassi.

2011 Wimbledon Final

The 2011 Wimbledon final would put the world No. 1 ranked and defending champion Nadal against the No. 2 ranked Djokovic who was looking for his first Wimbledon title. Nadal, on a 20-match winning streak at the All England Club, was favored by many to win despite Djokovic coming into the match with four finals victories over Nadal during year. However, with a four set victory, Djokovic became the first Serbian man to win Wimbledon and for the first time overtook Nadal for the No. 1 ranking.[46]

2011 US Open Final

The 2011 US Open final had Nadal as the defending champion after defeating Djokovic the prior year but with Djokovic having defeated Nadal in five finals including a victory over Nadal at Wimbledon finals earlier in the year, expectations were high on Djokovic to win his first US Open title. In a match lasting 4 hours and 10 minutes, Djokovic defeated Nadal for a sixth consecutive finals victory over Nadal. With the win, Djokovic became the sixth man in the open era to win three of the four majors in the same year.[47]

2012 Australian Open Final

This match was the third straight Djokovic vs Nadal major final. It was the longest Grand Slam final in history with Djokovic prevailing 7–5 in the fifth set in 5 hours 53 minutes.[48] Both players were exhausted to the extent that chairs had to be brought out during presentation.[49] The momentum switched several times throughout the match, at one stage Djokovic being only two points from winning the fourth set and thus the championship. However, Nadal managed to force a deciding set. He went up a break in the fifth set, but the turning point was when he missed a backhand winner at the net at 4–2 30–15, and lost his chance to consolidate his break. Tennis legends Mats Wilander, Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, and Stefan Edberg have all responded saying this was the greatest match of all time.[citation needed] The amount of social media chatter on Facebook and Twitter on the match was never seen before in tennis.[citation needed] Many congratulated both players for playing the greatest match ever witnessed, and news media also commented on the insurmountable quality of the match itself. With the win, Djokovic brought his win streak against Nadal to seven, all of which were in finals and 3 being grand slam finals.

2012 French Open Final

This match was the fourth straight Djokovic vs Nadal major final. Rafael Nadal won the first set 6–4, Nadal gaining a break of serve after a long attritional battle. There were several delays due to the erratic rain, but none lasting more than an hour. With Nadal leading by two sets to one, and Djokovic leading 2–1 and serving (up a break) in the fourth set, the match was suspended due to rain;[50] it was initially thought that Djokovic had gained the momentum, having won eight games in a row prior to the suspension of the match, however, Nadal was able to regroup and take the fourth set, and ultimately the match, after Djokovic double-faulted on championship point down.

2013 French Open Semifinal

Björn Borg dubbed it the greatest clay court match ever.[citation needed] John McEnroe called it one of the top 5 matches of all time.[citation needed] Both players produced incredible tennis in what was a mirror image of the 2012 Australian Open Final. The match had momentum swings throughout the entire affair but the most important occurred late in the fifth set when Djokovic, up a break, touched the net on a winner that would have put him in position to serve for the match, losing the point. He never recovered mentally from this mistake and Nadal saved the break and immediately broke back, eventually winning the final set.

2015 French Open Quarterfinal

Djokovic defeated Nadal ending a 39 match winning streak at the tournament in straight sets. After a highly competitive first set, Nadal's level declined in the second and third allowing Djokovic to finally get the better of him at the tournament he had dominated for the last ten years. It was the second time Nadal lost in the French Open and the only time he lost in straight sets at the event. Djokovic eventually lost in the final to Stan Wawrinka.

2018 Wimbledon Semifinal

Djokovic defeated Nadal in a thrilling five set match, lasting 5 hours, 15 minutes and played over two days. The match was highly anticipated early on, as Nadal, the world No. 1, had not progressed beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011 (where he lost to Djokovic in finals), and Djokovic on the other hand was recovering from a long elbow injury and had dropped down in the rankings. Before the match, Nadal was considered as the slight favorite due to his far superior form that year, including a straight-set victory over Djokovic at the Italian Open.[51] Due to delay caused by a six-and-half hour semifinal between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, the match started in the late Friday evening. Djokovic and Nadal won the first and second sets respectively. The third set entered the tiebreak and Djokovic saved three set points to win the set. As Wimbledon does not permit match play after 11:00 p.m, the match was halted after three sets. The fourth set, played next day, featured a lot of break point opportunities for both players, but eventually it was Nadal who took the set. In the fifth set, both players held serve for the first seventeen games, despite Nadal having break points in ninth and fifteenth games, and Djokovic in eighth and sixteenth games. In the end, Djokovic broke Nadal's serve to love to seal the match.

Analysis[edit]

Commentators Dick Enberg, John McEnroe, and Mary Carillo have said that this rivalry has the potential of being the greatest rivalry in tennis history due to the number of matches already played between the two, the quality of the matches, and the age difference of only one year.[52]

Djokovic is the player with the most career wins against Nadal. Nadal is also the player with the most career wins against Djokovic. Djokovic is the only player to have defeated Nadal in 4 clay court finals, the only player to defeat Nadal at the French Open in straight sets, and the only player to defeat Nadal in 7 consecutive finals. Both play a similar style of tennis but have differences that make their matches competitive and unique. Djokovic is the only player to defeat Nadal in three consecutive grand slam finals and the only player to defeat Nadal in all four grand slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open). Conversely, Nadal is the only player to defeat Djokovic in two hard court slam finals (US Open 2010 and US Open 2013).

The rivalry has seen dominance shift back and forth, with Nadal dominant early on, followed by Djokovic beating Nadal seven times in a row, then Nadal winning six out of seven, and Djokovic winning eleven out of the last thirteen.

Many pundits have claimed this to be the greatest rivalry of the Open Era given the number of records it has produced, the quality of their matches, it has the most encounters in the Open Era, and the number of classic matches it has produced that are unrivaled by any other. In 2009, it was rated the 3rd best rivalry of the last decade even though it only began in 2006.

Comparison of Grand Slam tournament titles[edit]

Novak Djokovic has won 13 Grand Slam tournament titles for fourth place in the open era and has won the career grand slam by winning all four majors at least once. In the 2015 - 2016 tennis season, Djokovic also won 4 consecutive Grand Slam titles, a feat not achieved since 1969. In addition, Djokovic is the only player to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once on three different surfaces. Djokovic's Grand Slam tournament titles include 8 on hard courts, 4 on grass, and 1 on clay. Nadal has won 17 Grand Slam tournament titles and is second on the all-time list and in total has 11 on clay, 4 on hard courts, and 2 on grass. Both also won the career grand slam and Nadal is the youngest player in the Open Era to achieve this feat, aged 24. This is the second rivalry after Federer-Nadal where two players have won at least ten majors each.

Tournament Djokovic Nadal
Australia Australian Open 6 1
France French Open 1 11
United Kingdom Wimbledon Championships 4 2
United States US Open 2 3
Total Count 13 17
  • Bold indicates outright record holder

Comparison of Masters 1000 titles[edit]

As of 2018, Nadal holds the all-time record for the most Masters 1000 titles with 32, while Djokovic is second with 30 titles. Nadal won 24 on clay and 8 on hard courts. Djokovic has won 22 on hard courts and 8 on clay. Djokovic is missing only Cincinnati while Nadal is missing two Masters 1000 titles (Miami and Paris), having won the German Open Hamburg before it was downgraded to ATP 500 in 2009 and replaced by the Madrid Masters (clay). Nadal also won the Madrid Masters event in 2005 when it was played on indoor hardcourt in October, the same slot that Shanghai Masters has today.

  Hardcourt   Clay

Tournament Djokovic Nadal
Indian Wells Masters 5 3
Miami Open 6 0
Monte-Carlo Masters 2 11
Madrid Open/German Open 2 5
Italian Open 4 8
Canadian Open 4 3
Cincinnati Masters 0 1
Shanghai Masters/Madrid Open 3 1
Paris Masters 4 0
Total Count 30 32
  • Bold indicates outright record holder

Comparison of Year–End Championships[edit]

Novak Djokovic won four ATP World Tour Finals in a row (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and has won five total, while Nadal has not won the event. Nadal has reached the final twice, in 2010 and 2013. Djokovic has a 3-2 advantage over Nadal in the event and won their only meeting in the title match by 6-3, 6-4 in 2013. Djokovic is second all-time in total titles at the event (tied with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl), behind Roger Federer (6 titles). Djokovic holds the record for most titles since the event was changed to ATP World Tour Finals in 2009.

Tournament Djokovic Nadal
Tennis Masters Cup 1 0
ATP World Tour Finals 4 0
Total Count 5 0

Head-to-head tallies[edit]

  • All matches: Djokovic, 27–25
  • All finals: Djokovic, 14–10
  • Grand Slam matches: Nadal, 9–5
    • Australian Open: Djokovic, 1–0
    • Roland Garros: Nadal, 6–1
    • Wimbledon: Djokovic, 2–1
    • US Open: Nadal, 2–1
  • Grand Slam finals: Nadal, 4–3
  • Tennis Masters Cup/ATP World Tour Finals matches: Djokovic, 3–2
  • Tennis Masters Cup/ATP World Tour Finals finals: Djokovic, 1–0
  • ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 matches: Djokovic, 16–11
  • ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals: Djokovic, 7–5

Completed set tallies[edit]

Djokovic Set score Nadal
1 10–8 0
0 9–7 1
7 7–6 9
7 7–5 9
11 6–4 21
25 6–3 8
13 6–2 11
7 6–1 7
0 6–0 0
71 Total sets 66
688 Total games 658

Results on each court surface[edit]

Hard Court (o) Clay Grass Hard Court (i) Total
Djokovic Nadal Djokovic Nadal Djokovic Nadal Djokovic Nadal Djokovic Nadal
Australian Open 1 0 1 0
French Open 1 6 1 6
Wimbledon 2 1 2 1
US Open 1 2 1 2
Indian Wells Masters 3 1 3 1
Miami Open 3 0 3 0
Monte-Carlo Masters 2 2 2 2
Italian Open 3 4 3 4
German Open /Madrid Open 1 3 1 3
Canadian Open 1 1 1 1
Cincinnati Masters 2 0 2 0
Paris Masters 1 0 1 0
China Open 2 0 2 0
Tennis Masters Cup /
ATP World Tour Finals
3 2 3 2
Queen's Club Championships 0 1 0 1
Qatar Open 1 0 1 0
Davis Cup 0 1 0 1
Summer Olympics 0 1 0 1
Total 14 5 7 16 2 2 4 2 27 25

Grand Slam matches[edit]

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Australian Open D
French Open N N N N N N D
Wimbledon N D D
US Open N D N

Notes

  • In bold: Matches that happened in the finals.

List of all matches[edit]

ATP, Davis Cup, and Grand Slam tournament main draw results included.[3]

Legend (2006–2008) Legend (2009–present) Djokovic Nadal
Grand Slam Grand Slam 5 9
Tennis Masters Cup ATP World Tour Finals 3 2
ATP Masters Series ATP World Tour Masters 1000 16 11
ATP International Series Gold ATP World Tour 500 Series 2 0
ATP International Series ATP World Tour 250 Series 1 1
Davis Cup Davis Cup 0 1
Olympics Olympics 0 1
Total 27 25

Singles[edit]

Djokovic–Nadal (27–25)

No. Year Tournament Series Surface Round Winner Score Length Sets Djokovic Nadal
1. 2006 France Roland Garros Major Clay Quarterfinals Nadal 6–4, 6–4, 0–0 RET 1:54 3/5 0 1
2. 2007 United States Indian Wells Masters Masters Hard Final Nadal 6–2, 7–5 1:34 2/3 0 2
3. 2007 United States Miami Open Masters Hard Quarterfinals Djokovic 6–3, 6–4 1:37 2/3 1 2
4. 2007 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Quarterfinals Nadal 6–2, 6–3 1:41 2/3 1 3
5. 2007 France Roland Garros Major Clay Semifinals Nadal 7–5, 6–4, 6–2 2:28 3/5 1 4
6. 2007 United Kingdom Wimbledon Major Grass Semifinals Nadal 3–6, 6–1, 4–1 RET 1:41 3/5 1 5
7. 2007 Canada Canadian Open Masters Hard Semifinals Djokovic 7–5, 6–3 1:51 2/3 2 5
8. 2007 China Tennis Masters Cup Tour Finals Hard (i) Round Robin Nadal 6–4, 6–4 1:44 2/3 2 6
9. 2008 United States Indian Wells Masters Masters Hard Semifinals Djokovic 6–3, 6–2 1:28 2/3 3 6
10. 2008 Germany Hamburg Masters Masters Clay Semifinals Nadal 7–5, 2–6, 6–2 3:03 3/3 3 7
11. 2008 France Roland Garros Major Clay Semifinals Nadal 6–4, 6–2, 7–6(7–3) 2:49 3/5 3 8
12. 2008 United Kingdom Queen's Club Championships 250 Grass Final Nadal 7–6(8–6), 7–5 2:16 2/3 3 9
13. 2008 United States Cincinnati Masters Masters Hard Semifinals Djokovic 6–1, 7–5 1:26 2/3 4 9
14. 2008 China Summer Olympics Olympics Hard Semifinals Nadal 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 2:10 3/3 4 10
15. 2009 Spain Davis Cup Davis Cup Clay First Round Nadal 6–4, 6–4, 6–1 2:28 3/5 4 11
16. 2009 Monaco Monte-Carlo Masters Masters Clay Final Nadal 6–3, 2–6, 6–1 2:43 3/3 4 12
17. 2009 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Final Nadal 7–6(7–2), 6–2 2:03 2/3 4 13
18. 2009 Spain Madrid Open Masters Clay Semifinals Nadal 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 7–6(11–9) 4:03 3/3 4 14
19. 2009 United States Cincinnati Masters Masters Hard Semifinals Djokovic 6–1, 6–4 1:32 2/3 5 14
20. 2009 France Paris Masters Masters Hard (i) Semifinals Djokovic 6–2, 6–3 1:17 2/3 6 14
21. 2009 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Tour Finals Hard (i) Round Robin Djokovic 7–6(7–5), 6–3 1:58 2/3 7 14
22. 2010 United States US Open Major Hard Final Nadal 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2 3:43 4/5 7 15
23. 2010 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Tour Finals Hard (i) Round Robin Nadal 7–5, 6–2 1:52 2/3 7 16
24. 2011 United States Indian Wells Masters Masters Hard Final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 2:25 3/3 8 16
25. 2011 United States Miami Open Masters Hard Final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4) 3:21 3/3 9 16
26. 2011 Spain Madrid Open Masters Clay Final Djokovic 7–5, 6–4 2:17 2/3 10 16
27. 2011 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Final Djokovic 6–4, 6–4 2:12 2/3 11 16
28. 2011 United Kingdom Wimbledon Major Grass Final Djokovic 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3 2:28 4/5 12 16
29. 2011 United States US Open Major Hard Final Djokovic 6–2, 6–4, 6–7(3–7), 6–1 4:10 4/5 13 16
30. 2012 Australia Australian Open Major Hard Final Djokovic 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5 5:53 5/5 14 16
31. 2012 Monaco Monte-Carlo Masters Masters Clay Final Nadal 6–3, 6–1 1:18 2/3 14 17
32. 2012 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Final Nadal 7–5, 6–3 2:20 2/3 14 18
33. 2012 France Roland Garros Major Clay Final Nadal 6–4, 6–3, 2–6, 7–5 3:49 4/5 14 19
34. 2013 Monaco Monte-Carlo Masters Masters Clay Final Djokovic 6–2, 7–6(7–1) 1:52 2/3 15 19
35. 2013 France Roland Garros Major Clay Semifinals Nadal 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 6–7(3–7), 9–7 4:37 5/5 15 20
36. 2013 Canada Canadian Open Masters Hard Semifinals Nadal 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(7–2) 2:28 3/3 15 21
37. 2013 United States US Open Major Hard Final Nadal 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 6–1 3:21 4/5 15 22
38. 2013 China China Open 500 Hard Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–4 1:27 2/3 16 22
39. 2013 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Tour Finals Hard (i) Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–4 1:36 2/3 17 22
40. 2014 United States Miami Open Masters Hard Final Djokovic 6–3, 6–3 1:23 2/3 18 22
41. 2014 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Final Djokovic 4–6, 6–3, 6–3 2:19 3/3 19 22
42. 2014 France Roland Garros Major Clay Final Nadal 3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4 3:31 4/5 19 23
43. 2015 Monaco Monte-Carlo Masters Masters Clay Semifinals Djokovic 6–3, 6–3 1:37 2/3 20 23
44. 2015 France Roland Garros Major Clay Quarterfinals Djokovic 7–5, 6–3, 6–1 2:27 3/5 21 23
45. 2015 China China Open 500 Hard Final Djokovic 6–2, 6–2 1:30 2/3 22 23
46. 2015 United Kingdom ATP World Tour Finals Tour Finals Hard (i) Semifinals Djokovic 6–3, 6–3 1:19 2/3 23 23
47. 2016 Qatar Qatar Open 250 Hard Final Djokovic 6–1, 6–2 1:13 2/3 24 23
48. 2016 United States Indian Wells Masters Masters Hard Semifinals Djokovic 7–6(7–5), 6–2 1:58 2/3 25 23
49. 2016 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Quarterfinals Djokovic 7–5, 7–6(7–4) 2:25 2/3 26 23
50. 2017 Spain Madrid Open Masters Clay Semifinals Nadal 6–2, 6–4 1:39 2/3 26 24
51. 2018 Italy Italian Open Masters Clay Semifinals Nadal 7–6(7–4), 6–3 1:56 2/3 26 25
52. 2018 United Kingdom Wimbledon Major Grass Semifinals Djokovic 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(11–9), 3–6, 10–8 5:15 5/5 27 25

Doubles[edit]

Djokovic–Nadal (0–2)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Opponents Djokovic Nadal
1. 2009 Canada Canadian Open Hard Round of 32 Nadal/Roig 7–5, 6–4 Djokovic/Vemić 0 1
2. 2015 Qatar Qatar Open Hard Semifinals Nadal/Mónaco 7–6(7–3), 6–1 Djokovic/Krajinović 0 2

As a pair (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Pair Score Opponents Wins Losses
1. 2010 Canada Canadian Open Hard Round of 32 Djokovic/Nadal 7–5, 3–6, [8–10] Pospisil/Raonic 0 1

Pairing Djokovic and Nadal[edit]

Historic achievements[edit]

  • Only two players in the open era to play 52 matches against one another. The first (one of two) rivalry where two players have played 40 + matches.
  • Only two players in the open era to play 24 finals.
  • Only two players to have played each other 27 times in Masters 1000 tournaments.
  • Only two players in the open era to have won Rome Masters 1000 tournament from 2005–2015, winning a combined 11 consecutive titles. It is the longest dominated tournament in Masters 1000 history between two players. Nadal has won an open era record 7 titles and Djokovic has won 4 titles during this period.
  • Only two players in the open era to have won and simultaneously hold all 9 Masters 1000 titles (2013 Monte-Carlo to 2014 Miami) between them.
  • Most consecutive defeats of the world No.1 in a season by the same player (No.2/No.3 Djokovic defeated No.1 Nadal five times in 2011). Djokovic is the only player to beat the world No.1 ranked player five consecutive times in a single season and the only player to defeat Nadal 7 times in a row. He did the latter twice, the first time all in the championship finals.
  • Longest Grand Slam final (2012 Australian Open) at 5 hours and 53 minutes
  • Longest match in Australian Open history (2012 Australian Open final)
  • Longest ATP three-set match of the Open Era with tie-break in deciding set (at the 2009 Madrid Masters)
  • Longest ATP Masters 1000 three-set match of the Open Era (at the 2009 Madrid Masters)
  • Latest finish for an uninterrupted Grand Slam final (2012 Australian Open).
  • First male pair in Open Era history to have met in each of the four Grand Slam finals, later Djokovic and Murray achieved this too.
  • Only male pair in Open Era history to have met in four consecutive Grand Slam finals (2011 Wimbledon-2012 French Open).
  • First pair (one of two) in tennis history to win the two first major tournaments of the season 5 times (2008, 2011-2013, 2016).
  • Most consecutive seasons in the Open Era playing a Grand Slam final (5), from 2010–2014.
  • Most matches played against each other at any single Grand Slam event (7 matches played at the French Open)
  • Most different ATP Masters Series tournaments played (9/10) (played in Hamburg but missing Shanghai)
  • Doubles team made up of singles No.1 and No.2 (shared with Connors-Ashe)
  • Nadal and Djokovic have the two highest numbers of Masters 1000 titles in the open era, with 32 and 30.
  • Djokovic and Nadal hold the all-time record of titles in their respective favored grand slam tournaments. Nadal has a record of 11 French Open titles and Djokovic has tied the record of 6 Australian Open titles with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer. Neither Djokovic nor Nadal has lost a final in those respective events.

Exhibition matches[edit]

In Bogota on March 21, 2011, Nadal beat Djokovic in their first exhibition match and the highest caliber match ever played in Colombia.[53] A second exhibition, with proceeds to benefit a foundation run by Nadal and the soccer team Real Madrid, was scheduled for July 14, 2012 in Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium,[54] but cancelled because of injury to Nadal.[55]

Djokovic—Nadal (3–2)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Djokovic Nadal
1. 2011 Bogotá Hard Exhibition Nadal 7–6(7–5), 6–3 0 1
2. 2013 Santiago de Chile Hard Exhibition Djokovic 7–6(7–3), 6–4[56][57] 1 1
3. 2013 Buenos Aires Hard Exhibition Nadal 6–4, 7–5[58] 1 2
4. 2015 Bangkok Hard Exhibition Djokovic 6–4, 6–2 2 2
5. 2016 Milan Hard Exhibition Djokovic 6–4, 6–4 3 2

Career evolution[edit]

  • () = active record (updated Monday, 16 July 2018)
Age (end of season) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Serbia Djokovic's season 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Spain Nadal's season 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Grand Slam titles Djokovic 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 5 6 7 10 12 12 (13)
Nadal 0 1 2 3 5 6 9 10 11 13 14 14 14 16 (17)
Grand Slam match wins Djokovic 5 14 33 51 66 85 110 134 158 180 207 228 237 (251)
Nadal 6 19 36 56 80 95 120 143 157 171 187 198 203 226 (242)
Year-End Championships Djokovic 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 (5)
Nadal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0)
Masters 1000 titles Djokovic 0 0 2 4 5 5 10 13 16 20 26 30 30 (30)
Nadal 0 4 6 9 12 15 18 19 21 26 27 27 28 30 (32)
Total titles Djokovic 0 2 7 11 16 18 28 34 41 48 59 66 68 (69)
Nadal 1 12 17 23 31 36 43 46 50 60 64 67 69 75 (79)
Total match wins Djokovic 13 53 121 185 263 324 394 469 543 604 686 751 783 (808)
Nadal 45 124 183 253 335 401 472 541 583 658 706 767 806 873 (908)
Ranking Djokovic 78 16 3 3 3 3 1 1 2 1 1 2 12 (10)
Nadal 51 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 4 1 3 5 9 1 (1)
Weeks at number 1 Djokovic 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 62 101 127 179 223 223 (223)
Nadal 0 0 0 0 19 46 76 102 102 115 141 141 141 160 (181)

Performance timeline comparison[edit]

Grand Slam tournaments[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
  • Bold = players met during this tournament

2005–2010[edit]

Player 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic 1R 2R 3R 3R 1R QF 4R 3R 4R SF SF F W SF 2R SF QF 3R QF SF QF QF SF F
Spain Rafael Nadal 4R W 2R 3R A W F QF QF W F 4R SF W W SF W 4R A SF QF W W W

2011–2016[edit]

Player 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic W SF W W W F SF F W SF F F QF F W SF W F W W W W 3R F
Spain Rafael Nadal QF W F F F W 2R A A W 1R W F W 4R A QF QF 2R 3R 1R 3R A 4R

2017–Present[edit]

Player 2017 2018
AUS FRA WIM USA AUS FRA WIM USA
Serbia Novak Djokovic 2R QF QF A 4R QF W
Spain Rafael Nadal F W 4R W QF W SF

Djokovic–Nadal Grand Slam tournament era (2005–present)[edit]

Year Australian Open French Open Wimbledon US Open
2005 Russia Marat Safin Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer Switzerland Roger Federer
2006 Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer Switzerland Roger Federer
2007 Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer Switzerland Roger Federer
2008 Serbia Novak Djokovic Spain Rafael Nadal Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer
2009 Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer Switzerland Roger Federer Argentina Juan Martín del Potro
2010 Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal Spain Rafael Nadal Spain Rafael Nadal
2011 Serbia Novak Djokovic Spain Rafael Nadal Serbia Novak Djokovic Serbia Novak Djokovic
2012 Serbia Novak Djokovic Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer United Kingdom Andy Murray
2013 Serbia Novak Djokovic Spain Rafael Nadal United Kingdom Andy Murray Spain Rafael Nadal
2014 Switzerland Stan Wawrinka Spain Rafael Nadal Serbia Novak Djokovic Croatia Marin Čilić
2015 Serbia Novak Djokovic Switzerland Stan Wawrinka Serbia Novak Djokovic Serbia Novak Djokovic
2016 Serbia Novak Djokovic Serbia Novak Djokovic United Kingdom Andy Murray Switzerland Stan Wawrinka
2017 Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal
2018 Switzerland Roger Federer Spain Rafael Nadal Serbia Novak Djokovic

Combined singles performance timeline (best result)[edit]

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A 3R 4R 1R QF W W QF W W W F W W F QF 7 / 15
French Open A A W W W W 4R W W W W W F W W W 12 / 14
Wimbledon 3R A 3R F F W QF W W SF F W W 3R QF W 6 / 15
US Open 2R 2R 3R QF F SF SF W W F W SF W F W 5 / 15
Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and ATP World Tour Finals
Indian Wells A 3R A SF W W W SF W SF W W W W 4R 2R 8 / 14
Miami A 4R F 2R W F F SF W W 4R W W W F 2R 6 / 15
Monte Carlo 3R A W W W W W W W W W SF W W W W 13 / 15
Madrid1 3R A A 2R F W F W W QF W W F W W QF 7 / 14
Rome A A W W W W W W W W W W W F F W 12 / 14
Canada A 1R W 3R W W QF SF W W W 3R F W 3R 7 / 14
Cincinnati A 1R 1R QF 2R F F QF F F W 3R F 3R QF 1 / 14
Shanghai2 1R 2R W QF SF SF F SF 3R W W SF W SF F 4 / 15
Paris Q1 A 3R 2R F QF W 3R QF 2R W W W QF QF 4 / 13
ATP Finals DNQ A SF SF W RR F RR W W W W F RR 5 / 12

ATP Rankings[edit]

Year-end ranking timeline[edit]

Player 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Serbia Novak Djokovic 679 186 78 16 3 3 3 3 1 1 2 1 1 2 12
Spain Rafael Nadal 811 200 49 51 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 4 1 3 5 9 1

Djokovic–Nadal ATP world No. 1 era[edit]

Updated Monday 21 May 2018.

Player Start date End date Weeks Total
Spain Rafael Nadal August 18, 2008 July 5, 2009 46 46
Switzerland Roger Federer (2) July 6, 2009 June 6, 2010 48 285
Spain Rafael Nadal (2) June 7, 2010 July 3, 2011 56 102
Serbia Novak Djokovic July 4, 2011 July 8, 2012 53 53
Switzerland Roger Federer (3) July 9, 2012 November 4, 2012 17 302
Serbia Novak Djokovic (2) November 5, 2012 October 6, 2013 48 101
Spain Rafael Nadal (3) October 7, 2013 July 6, 2014 39 141
Serbia Novak Djokovic (3) July 7, 2014 November 6, 2016 122 223
United Kingdom Andy Murray November 7, 2016 August 20, 2017 41 41
Spain Rafael Nadal (4) August 21, 2017 February 18, 2018 26 167
Switzerland Roger Federer (4) February 19, 2018 April 1, 2018 6 308
Spain Rafael Nadal (5) April 2, 2018 May 13, 2018 6 173
Switzerland Roger Federer (5) May 14, 2018 May 20, 2018 1 309
Spain Rafael Nadal (6) May 21, 2018 Present 1 174

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]