Murray–Nadal rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal at the 2011 Japan Open

The Murray–Nadal rivalry is between two professional tennis players, Andy Murray of Great Britain and Rafael Nadal of Spain. Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are two of the top professional tennis players in the world. Both are Olympic champions and have multiple Grand Slam championships with Nadal currently tied 2nd on the list of most Grand Slam titles won (14 to date).[1][2] and have developed a rivalry since the 2007 season of the ATP. The pair have met 24 times. Nadal holds the lead 17–7. Nadal's wins over Murray have come on all surfaces. Nadal leads on hard courts 7–5, on clay courts 7–2 and on grass courts 3–0. However, Murray has a 3–1 lead in finals.


Andy Murray at the 2011 Australian Open
Rafael Nadal at the 2012 Qatar Open

Rafael Nadal[edit]

Rafael Nadal won the French Open the first time he participated in the competition, at the age of 19 in 2005. His ranking shot up to no. 3 and he remained in the top 5 for an uninterrupted, 10-year period, until May 11, 2015. In addition to the French Open, Nadal won 10 other singles titles in 2005. Of those titles, 8 were on clay. With such a dominant season on the clay courts, Nadal was dubbed the “King of Clay” and has been known as such since. In total, Nadal has commanded clay courts having won a record setting nine French Open titles.[3] Nadal is also known for being the youngest man, at the age of 24, to complete a career grand slam and is also the second man (the other being Andre Agassi) to win the Career Golden Slam. His record stands at 67 career singles titles and 9 career doubles titles. Nadal is currently ranked no. 5 in the world.[4]

Andy Murray[edit]

Andy Murray burst onto the scene in 2006 after beating Roger Federer, ranked world no. 1 at the time, and Andy Roddick in the Cincinnati Masters tournament. Murray gained momentum and continued to rise through the ranks, entering the top ten by 2007. The years following his rank rose up to no. 2 and he racked up singles titles, including 2 majors. His most notable titles include the 2012 Olympic Gold, 2012 US Open title, and the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon titles. Murray winning Wimbledon was the first time that a British man had won the title in 77 years and the first time a Scottish man had won Wimbledon since 1896 when Harold Mahony was champion.[5] Overall, Murray has won 35 career singles titles and 2 career doubles titles. Murray is currently ranked no. 2 in the world.[6]

Notable matches[edit]

These two are have appeared in every Australian Open final since 2009, a 8-year streak, with 1 win for Nadal, and 6 consecutive losses from 2010-2016 for them both, as Nadal won the Championship in 2009, and was runner up in 2012 and 2014, and Murray reached and lost five finals at Australia, losing in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016. Out of the twenty two meetings between the pair, nine matches have occurred in Grand Slam tournaments. These match-ups have come in each of the four Slams: The U.S. Open twice, the Australian Open twice, the French Open twice and Wimbledon three times. Nadal holds the lead in Grand Slam meetings with a 7–2 record in the nine matches. Nadal has won all three matches at Wimbledon and both matches at the French Open while the pair have split the meetings at both the U.S. Open and Australian Open. While the rivalry has been renewed throughout the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, and despite every Grand Slam final from the 2010 Australian Open to the 2014 French Open featuring either Murray or Nadal, the pair have never met in a Grand Slam final. Nadal and Murray have played each other in four ATP Tour finals, with Nadal winning the 2009 Indian Wells Masters title and Murray winning the 2009 Rotterdam Open, 2011 Japan Open and the 2015 Madrid Open titles.

2007 Australian Open round of 16[edit]

The 2007 Australian Open brought the first match-up between Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal and it was a classic that would spark a rivalry for years to come. The young up-and-comer Murray met the world No. 2 Nadal in the round of 16.[7] Murray claimed the first set in a tie-break, and began to roll through the second set, taking a 4–1 lead over the Spaniard. Nadal stormed back and claimed the next five games to steal the set out from under the feet of the young Scot, who seemed to show his youth as the poor play carried into the start of the third set, falling behind 3–1. The 19-year-old Murray showed his grit as he battled back and took a break point in the tenth game and claimed the third set. Murray was full of energy as the clock ticked past midnight down under, but the energy was not enough. Murray was unable to convert on five separate break points in the fourth set, which provided Nadal with enough confidence to get things rolling, taking the set and setting up a deciding fifth set. The deciding set was all Nadal as Murray seemed to be out of energy. Nadal took the match 6–7 (3–7), 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1 but what came from this battle was a rivalry between two young stars.

2008 Wimbledon quarterfinal[edit]

The 2008 Wimbledon Championships[8] was the second meeting between Murray and Nadal in a Slam event. Murray had battled Nadal hard in their first slam meeting; however, this was not the case in July 2008. Nadal controlled the match from the get go and seemed to leave the young Murray flustered. Nadal did not face a single break point. Murray showed his nerves as he made costly errors early in the second set that allowed Nadal to cruise, taking the set in 33 minutes. The match as a whole was a quick one as Nadal swept Murray in one hour and 55 minutes. Murray had a grueling match against Richard Gasquet in the previous round coming from two sets down to defeat the Frenchman, which appeared to take its toll on Murray as Nadal took a match that was never in question in straight sets, defeating Murray 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

2008 US Open semifinal[edit]

Just months after Nadal crushed Murray on the grass courts of Wimbledon, the pair met again, this time in the semifinal of the 2008 US Open[9] Murray had a much better showing than the effort he gave against Nadal in London. Murray cruised to a 6-2 victory in the first set. Nadal put up a fight in the second set, slowing Murray's momentum, forcing it to a tie break. Murray was able to take the tie break and go up two sets to love. The third set was delayed due to rain. The third set resumed with Nadal having the advantage at a break point. The weather seemed to derail the momentum that Murray had established in the first two sets. Nadal took the third set and looked to capitalise on the break the rain brought. Murray found his game again in the fourth set and he closed out the match to advance to his first Grand Slam final, defeating Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4.

2009 Rotterdam Open final[edit]

Nadal and Murray at the Japan Open trophy ceremony

The final of the 2009 Rotterdam Open marked the first time Nadal played Murray in an ATP Tour Final match. Murray won 6–3, 4–6, 6–0 in one hour 51 minutes. Nadal was struggling with a knee injury in the closing stages which affected his serve, playing a major part in Murray winning the deciding set 6–0.[10]

2010 Australian Open quarterfinal[edit]

The 2010 Australian Open matched the number five seed Andy Murray and the Second seed Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.[11] Murray was sharp form the beginning and was able to take the first set 6-3. Nadal jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Murray was able to fight back and force the set into a tie break. After forcing the tie break, Murray cruised to take the second set by a margin of 7-2. Murray carried the momentum to take a 3-0 lead in the third set. After struggling at the start of the third set, Nadal requested attention for his knee. Nadal did not feel he could continue playing, and withdrew from the match. Murray advanced on the withdrawal, but was in clear control of the match with a lead of 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 3-0.

2010 Wimbledon semifinal[edit]

The 2010 Wimbledon Championships semi final[12] between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray had deeper meaning than the typical tennis match. Wimbledon is the worlds most notable tennis venue and is filled with rich history. Yet throughout this rich history, the venue had not seen a man from Great Britain reach the finals since 1938. The weight of a nation rested upon Murray's shoulders as he fought with his rival for a spot in the final. The match started evenly and was a tight contest throughout. The first breakthrough came as Nadal broke Murray at 4-4, Nadal then successfully held his serve to win the set 6-4. The second set appeared as if Murray had the upper hand, Murray had a break point at 4-3, but a series of failed backhands bailed Nadal out of trouble and eventually Nadal won a very close second set on a tie break 7-6 (8-6). Down two sets to the world number one, Murray faced an uphill battle. Nadal seemed to be wavering with a double fault late in the third set, but once again, Murray could not capitalize. The nation would have to continue to wait for a man from Great Britain to reach a Wimbledon final as Nadal defeated Murray in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.

2011 French Open semifinal[edit]

Their first meeting at the French Open came at the 2011 French Open[13] as Murray met world number one Nadal in the semi finals. Nadal has dominated the clay courts[14] and the results would seem to indicate nothing less as Nadal defeated Murray in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. The match was much closer than the score indicated. The three set match took over three hours to complete indicating long rallies and tight games in each set. Murray had many opportunities to take the match from Nadal, but failed to capitalize on his chances. Murray created eighteen break points against Nadal, but only converted on three of the break points. There was a glimpse of hope for Murray as he held a 40-15 lead on serve with the set tied 5-5. Murray failed to execute a drop shot and then began to slide and lost the set. Down two sets, there was no coming back against the best clay court player in tennis history.[15][16] Nadal's straight set victory was not as easily won as it may have seemed on paper.

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray shake hands after their semi-final match at Wimbledon 2011

2011 Wimbledon semifinal[edit]

The 2011 Wimbledon Championships[17] brought an almost identical scenario witnessed just one year earlier as Murray and Nadal squared off in the semi-final with the hopes that a British man would reach the final for the first time since 1938. This was the third straight Wimbledon semi-final for Murray and the expectations began to grow. Early in the match, Murray caused some concern in the crowd as the trainers provided him with pain medication for a hip injury that had bothered him in previous matches. Nadal, who also entered the match with a lingering foot injury, fought Murray to a 5-5 tie in the first set. It appeared as if the set was going to go to a tie break when Nadal faltered and allowed Murray to take the set 7-5. The momentum was entirely behind Murray and he carried that to a quick start in the second set leading 2-1 and up 15-30 on Nadals serve. However Murray missed an easy forehand at the net, losing the chance to go 15-40 up and have 2 break points to potentially lead 7-5, 3-1, but since that miss Murray played the remainder of the set in sloppy fashion. Nadal took control of the match from that point and ended the chances of a British man reaching the final. The key stat of the match was the 7 unforced errors committed by Nadal in comparison to the 39 committed by Murray. These mistakes by Murray helped Nadal advance to the final 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

2011 US Open semifinal[edit]

The 2011 US Open was very similar to the meeting between the rivals three years earlier.[18] This time Nadal was able to reverse the previous result. It was Nadal that got off to the quick start in New York this time. Nadal played one of his best matches of the tournament and rolled through the first two sets with little resistance. Murray was able to rally and take the third set, but could not manage to gather any momentum. Nadal took back control and grabbed the fourth set, the match and a spot in the final. Nadal defeated Murray 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

2011 Rakutan Japan Open final[edit]

After losing every previews meeting to the Spaniard in 2011, including three consecutive grand slam semi-finals Murray needed this win to snap a 5-match losing streak stretching back to the semi-finals of the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals. At first Nadal dominated, gaining a 4-1 lead before Murray fought back. He managed to hold serve twice more, but could not stop Nadal from winning the set with a brilliant volley following a drop shot after Murray attempted a passing shot. In the second set, Murray broke to race to a 3-1 lead on serve but found himself 0-40 down. Brilliantly, the Scot fired three blistering aces and managed to hold serve. Nadal would only hold once more in the set, with Murray taking the second 6-2. Murray utterly dominated the third set, firing blistering winners off of both wings, allowing Nadal to only win 5 points during the entire set. Murray was crowned champion after Nadal missed a backhand wide on match point.

2014 French Open semifinal[edit]

They met at the semi-finals of the 2014 French Open, the same stage as three years previously. The outcome was the same as then with Nadal winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.[19] This match, however, was as comfortable for Nadal as the scoreline suggested, with Murray only winning 10 points off the Nadal serve. Nadal quickly asserted control and won the opening three games, going on to take the set in 34 minutes. Murray had spent over four hours longer than Nadal on court in the previous rounds and his tiredness showed as he made a lot more errors than is usual for him. By contrast, Nadal was at his best and won the next two sets as quickly as the first, securing the victory in only 100 minutes

2015 Madrid Open final[edit]

This was their first match at a final since Rakutan Japan Open 2011, and the first time they met at a final on clay. Nadal was aiming to extend his Masters record 27 titles, while Murray was looking for his first title in a Masters 1000 event on clay and the first in any surface since his win at Miami in 2013. Murray broke early in both sets and never surrendered his service in the match. That led to Murray take early control of each set and eventually win the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in just 89 minutes. With the win Murray won his second clay title of his career in consecutive weeks (Munich) and became just the 4th player to beat Nadal in a clay final,[20] furthermore, he became just the sixth player to win 10 or more ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, joining Nadal (27), Novak Djokovic (23), Roger Federer (23), Andre Agassi (17) and Pete Sampras (11).[21]


Head-to-head tallies[edit]

Results on each court surface[edit]

Hard Court (o) Clay Grass Hard Court (i) Total
Murray Nadal Murray Nadal Murray Nadal Murray Nadal Murray Nadal
Australian Open 1 1 1 1
Roland Garros 0 2 0 2
Wimbledon 0 3 0 3
US Open 1 1 1 1
Indian Wells 0 1 0 1
Monte Carlo 0 3 0 3
Rome 0 1 0 1
Hamburg 0 1 0 1
Madrid 2 0 0 1 2 1
Canada 1 1 1 1
Rotterdam 1 0 1 0
Tokyo Open 1 0 1 0
Tennis Masters Cup /
ATP World Tour Finals
0 2 0 2
Total 4 4 2 7 0 3 1 3 7 17

List of all matches[edit]

Legend (1998–2008) Legend (2009–present) Murray Nadal
Grand Slam Grand Slam 2 7
Tennis Masters Cup ATP World Tour Finals 0 2
ATP Masters Series ATP World Tour Masters 1000 3 8
ATP International Series Gold ATP World Tour 500 Series 2 0
ATP International Series ATP World Tour 250 Series 0 0
Davis Cup Davis Cup 0 0
Olympic Games Olympic Games 0 0


Murray-Nadal (7–17)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Length (H:MM) Murray Nadal
1. 2007 Australian Open Hard Fourth Round Nadal 6–7(3–7), 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1 3:51 0 1
2. 2007 Madrid Hard (i) Third Round Nadal 7–6(7–5), 6–4 2:17 0 2
3. 2008 Hamburg Clay Third Round Nadal 6–3, 6–2 1:18 0 3
4. 2008 Wimbledon Grass Quarterfinal Nadal 6–3, 6–2, 6–4 1:55 0 4
5. 2008 Canada Hard Semi-final Nadal 7–6(7–2), 6–3 2:02 0 5
6. 2008 US Open Hard Semi-final Murray 6–2, 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 6–4 3:31 1 5
7. 2009 Rotterdam Hard (i) Final Murray 6–3, 4–6, 6–0 1:51 2 5
8. 2009 Indian Wells Hard Final Nadal 6–1, 6–2 1:21 2 6
9. 2009 Monte Carlo Clay Semi-final Nadal 6–2, 7–6(7–4) 2:09 2 7
10. 2010 Australian Open Hard Quarterfinal Murray 6–3, 7–6(7–2), 3–0 ret 2:30 3 7
11. 2010 Wimbledon Grass Semi-final Nadal 6–4, 7–6(8–6),6–4 2:22 3 8
12. 2010 Canada Hard Semi-final Murray 6–3, 6–4 1:44 4 8
13. 2010 ATP World Tour Finals Hard (i) Semi-final Nadal 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 7–6(8–6) 3:12 4 9
14. 2011 Monte Carlo Clay Semi-final Nadal 6–4, 2–6, 6–1 2:59 4 10
15. 2011 Roland Garros Clay Semi-final Nadal 6–4, 7–5, 6–4 3:17 4 11
16. 2011 Wimbledon Grass Semi-final Nadal 5–7, 6–2, 6–2, 6–4 2:59 4 12
17. 2011 US Open Hard Semi-final Nadal 6–4, 6–2, 3–6, 6–2 3:24 4 13
18. 2011 Tokyo Open Hard Final Murray 3–6, 6–2, 6–0 2:16 5 13
2012 Miami Hard Semi-final Murray Walkover 5 13
19. 2014 Rome Clay Quarterfinal Nadal 1–6, 6–3, 7–5 2:40 5 14
20. 2014 Roland Garros Clay Semi-final Nadal 6–3, 6–2, 6–1 1:40 5 15
21. 2015 Madrid Clay Final Murray 6–3, 6–2 1:29 6 15
22. 2015 ATP World Tour Finals Hard (i) RR Nadal 6–4, 6–1 1:32 6 16
23. 2016 Monte Carlo Clay Semi-final Nadal 2–6, 6–4, 6–2 2:43 6 17
24. 2016 Madrid Clay Semi-final Murray 7–5, 6–4 2:11 7 17

Exhibition matches[edit]

Murray-Nadal (2–0)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Murray Nadal
1. 2009 Abu Dhabi Hard Final Murray 6–4, 5–7, 6–3 1 0
2. 2015 Abu Dhabi Hard Semi-final Murray 6–2, 6–0 2 0

Performance timeline comparison[edit]

Grand Slam and Olympic tournaments[edit]

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


Player 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
United Kingdom Andy Murray A A 3R 2R 1R 1R 4R 4R 4R A A 3R 1R 3R QF 1R F 4R QF SF 4R F 4R SF 3R
Spain Rafael Nadal 4R W 2R 3R A W F QF QF W F 4R SF W W G SF W 4R A SF QF W W W


Player 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
United Kingdom Andy Murray F SF SF SF SF QF F G W F A W QF QF SF QF QF F SF SF 4R F F W G QF
Spain Rafael Nadal QF W F F F W 2R A A A W 1R W F W 4R A QF QF 2R 3R 1R 3R A SF 4R

ATP Rankings[edit]

Year-end ranking timeline[edit]

Player 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
United Kingdom Andy Murray 540 411 63 17 11 4 4 4 4 3 4 6 2
Spain Rafael Nadal 811 200 49 51 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 4 1 3 5

Career evolution[edit]

Murray and Nadal were born a year apart. The following table documents their career evolution, taking the season they entered with an age of 17 as starting point.

  • () = active record (updated Monday August 29, 2016)
Age (end of season) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
United Kingdom Murray's season 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Spain Nadal's season 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Grand Slam titles Murray 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 2 (3)
Nadal 0 1 2 3 5 6 9 10 11 13 14 14 (14)
Grand Slam match wins Murray 3 9 14 26 41 57 78 100 117 134 153 (172)
Nadal 6 19 36 56 80 95 120 143 157 171 187 198 (200)
Total titles Murray 0 1 3 8 14 16 21 24 28 31 35 (39)
Nadal 1 12 17 23 31 36 43 46 50 60 64 67 (69)
Total match wins Murray 14 54 97 155 221 267 323 379 422 481 552 (602)
Nadal 45 124 183 253 335 401 472 541 583 658 706 767 (801)
Ranking Murray 63 17 11 4 4 4 4 3 4 6 2 (2)
Nadal 51 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 4 1 3 5 (5)
Weeks at number 1 Murray 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0)
Nadal 0 0 0 0 19 46 76 102 102 115 141 141 (141)

Combined singles performance timeline (best result)[edit]

Murray and Nadal were represented in 18 consecutive Grand Slam finals between 2010 and 2014 (six by Murray, twelve by Nadal), but have never met in a Grand Slam final.

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A 3R 4R 1R QF SF W F F F F F F F 1 / 13
French Open A A W W W W QF W W W W W SF F 9 / 12
Wimbledon 3R A 3R F F W SF W F F W QF SF W 4 / 13
US Open 2R 2R 3R QF 4R F SF W F W W QF 4R QF 3 / 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FedEx ATP Head 2 Head". ATP World Tour. ATP Tour, Inc. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Grand Slam Wins All Time
  3. ^ "Rafael Nadal Biography". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rafael Nadal Stats, News, Pictures, Bio, Videos - ESPN". ESPN Tennis. ESPN. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Andy Murray Biography". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Andy Murray Stats, News, Pictures, Bio, Videos - ESPN". ESPN Tennis. ESPN. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Harlow, Phil (22 January 2007). "Valiant Murray succumbs to Nadal". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Cheese, Caroline (2 July 2008). "Brutal Nadal sweeps aside Murray". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Newbery, Piers (7 September 2008). "Murray stuns Nadal to reach final". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  10. ^ BBC SPORT | Tennis | Murray beats Nadal to take title
  11. ^ Mitchell, Kevin (26 January 2010). "Andy Murray reaches Australian Open semi-finals as Rafael Nadal retires". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Newbery, Piers (2 July 2010). "Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal beats Andy Murray in semi". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Dickson, Mike (3 June 2011). "Birthday boy Nadal overpowers Murray to reach yet another French Open final". Mail Online. Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Bishop, Greg (7 June 2012). "Molded for Success on Clay Courts". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Men's Tennis: The 5 Best Clay-Court Players of All Time | Bleacher Report
  16. ^ Borg says Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time
  17. ^ Newbery, Piers (1 July 2011). "Wimbledon 2011: Rafael Nadal beats Andy Murray in semis". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Ornstein, David (12 September 2011). "US Open 2011: Andy Murray loses to Rafael Nadal in semis". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Newbery, Piers (6 June 2014). "Andy Murray beaten by Rafael Nadal in French Open semi-final". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^

External links[edit]