[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASkQJLmP9Jc[/youtube]

Nadal was again a huge part of Spain’s Davis Cup title in 2008, with 2 victories against the United States in the semifinals. But he missed the finals against Argentina due to knee injury. In the absence of world number one Nadal, Ferrer, Lopez and Verdasco upset the title favorites and captured Spain’s third Davis Cup.

In 2009, Spain defeated Serbia, Germany and Israel en route to the final, where they faced Czech Republic at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. And this time, Nadal was part of the team.

Palau Sant Jordi:

Palau Sant Jordi

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Their rivalry was listed as the third best rivalry of the past decade by the ATP, behind Federer-Nadal (of course) and Sampras-Agassi (kinda weird because they only met 6 times in the 00’s ).

In just over 6 years, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic already met 32 times (Federer and Nadal “only” met 28 times in 8 years). And they provided some intense matches: this year’s Australian Open final, the 2009 Madrid SF, the 2008 Olympic Games SF…

Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic

Quick facts:

– Nadal won five of eight of their Grand Slam matches.
– Nadal dominates on clay and grass, whereas Djokovic rules on hard courts.
– Nadal lead 2-1 in 2012: Djokovic won the Australian Open final on hard courts, and Nadal won in Monte Carlo and Rome on clay

In pink the Grand Slam matches, in gold the Olympic Games. You can click on the column to sort.

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score N. D. R. N.
1 2006 French Open Clay QF Nadal 6-4 6-4 retired 0 1
2 2007 Indian Wells Hard F Nadal 6-2 7-5 0 2
3 2007 Miami Hard QF Djokovic 6-3 6-4 1 2
4 2007 Rome Clay QF Nadal 6-2 6-3 1 3
5 2007 French Open Clay SF Nadal 7-5 6-4 6-2 1 4
6 2007 Wimbledon Grass SF Nadal 3-6 6-1 4-1 retired 1 5
7 2007 Canada (Montreal) Hard SF Djokovic 7-5 6-3 2 5
8 2007 Shanghai Hard (i) RR Nadal 6-4 6-4 2 6
9 2008 Indian Wells Hard SF Djokovic 6-3 6-2 3 6
10 2008 Hamburg Clay SF Nadal 7-5 2-6 6-2 3 7
11 2008 French Open Clay SF Nadal 6-4 6-2 7-6(3) 3 8
12 2008 London (Queen’s Club) Grass F Nadal 7-6(6) 7-5 3 9
13 2008 Cincinnati Hard SF Djokovic 6-1 7-5 4 9
14 2008 Beijing Hard SF Nadal 6-4 1-6 6-4 4 10
15 2009 Serbia v Spain Clay RR Nadal 6-4 6-4 6-1 4 11
16 2009 Monte Carlo Clay F Nadal 6-3 2-6 6-1 4 12
17 2009 Rome Clay F Nadal 7-6(2) 6-2 4 13
18 2009 Madrid Clay SF Nadal 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(9) 4 14
19 2009 Cincinnati Hard SF Djokovic 6-1 6-4 5 14
20 2009 Paris Hard (i) SF Djokovic 6-2 6-3 6 14
21 2009 London Hard (i) RR Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-3 7 14
22 2010 US Open Hard F Nadal 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 7 15
23 2010 London Hard (i) RR Nadal 7-5 6-2 7 16
24 2011 Indian Wells Hard F Djokovic 4-6 6-3 6-2 8 16
25 2011 Miami Hard F Djokovic 4-6 6-3 7-6(4) 9 16
26 2011 Madrid Clay F Djokovic 7-5 6-4 10 16
27 2011 Rome Clay F Djokovic 6-4 6-4 11 16
28 2011 Wimbledon Grass F Djokovic 6–4 6–1 1–6 6–3 12 16
29 2011 US Open Hard F Djokovic 6–2 6–4 6-7 6–1 13 16
30 2012 Australian Open Hard F Djokovic 5-7 6–4 6-2 6–7 7-5 14 16
31 2012 Monte Carlo Clay F Nadal 6-3 6-1 14 17
32 2012 Rome Clay F Nadal 7-5 6-3 14 18

This match is without a doubt the best ATP match played in 2009.

Nadal had a tremenduous start of the year with wins at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. He seemed unbeatable on clay and was the clear favorite to win a record fifth consecutive Roland Garros title. But things didn’t really turned out that well for him.

With a win in Madrid, the Mallorcan would have been the first player in history to win the 3 Masters tournaments played on clay the same year.

Nadal and Djokovic met for the fourth time of the season in Madrid semi finals, Nadal having won their 3 previous meetings (Davis Cup and finals of Monte Carlo and Rome).

Rafael Nadal

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Do you prefer Rafa:

with sleeves

Rafael Nadal

or sleeveless?

Rafael Nadal