Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet for a record 56th time in their ATP Head2Head series on Sunday in the Roland Garros final. History is on the line for both, as Djokovic is trying to become the first man in the Open Era to complete two Career Grand Slams, and Nadal is attempting to tie Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 major titles.
If anyone can stop Rafael Nadal from winning his record-extending 13th Roland Garros title—which would make him 26-0 in semifinals and finals on the terre battue—and his 100th match overall at the clay-court major, it’s Novak Djokovic. The pandemic may have cost tennis fans Indian Wells, Miami, Wimbledon and many other excellent tournaments, but Djokovic-Nadal LVI, in this setting, is at least some level of payback.
Nobody has beaten Djokovic more times than Nadal, and vice-versa. The Serb leads their head-to-head record 29-26, and is just one of two players to get the better of Nadal at Roland Garros. Just watching the highlights of their storied rivalry is an all-day activity. We can argue endlessly about tennis’ greatest-ever rivalries, but if your metric is based on the number of points that drop your jaw, or the amount of times you question whether the athletes are actually human or not, this is the match-up for you.
In the words of ATP commentator Robbie Koenig, Djokovic and Nadal frequently deliver “tennis nearer the gods.”
Before the highly anticipated clash, ATPTourlooks at stats you need to know about how the legends have performed at Roland Garros this year, their historic rivalry and more.
Djokovic & Nadal: Stats At 2020 Roland Garros
Second seed Nadal has been opportunistic this year on the Parisian terre battue, converting 38 of his 48 break points (79.2%). Entering the match, the Spaniard’s career break point conversion rate was 45 per cent.
Djokovic and Nadal both reached the quarter-finals without losing a set. Nadal continued his clean run with two more straight-sets victories to make his 13th final, but Djokovic needed four sets against Pablo Carreno Busta in the last eight and five sets against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.
Nobody has beaten Nadal at majors more than Djokovic and vice versa. The Serbian is pursuing his seventh Slam victory against the lefty, and the Spaniard is trying for his 10th major win against the World No. 1.