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

Rafa’s playing style

Rafa Nadal: “My game is to play with the rallies. I don’t want to play serve and volley or serve and one shot or ace. Everybody has to know that. My game is to play with intensity, play good rhythm all the time, and try to play long times without having mistakes.”

Forehand:

Rafael Nadal forehand

His heavy spin forehand is one of the heaviest shot in today’s tennis. It’s the central component of his game, allowing him to dictate the play from the baseline.
Nadal forehand shot rotates at an average of 3200 times a minute (2700 for Roger Federer). Being given that he plays left handed, the spins come onto the racquet different to what players practise all of the time. Lately he tried to reduce the spin in order to win more winners, especially on hard courts.

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Nadal-Federer rivalry

One of the greatest (if not the greatest) all time tennis rivalry. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal provide us some spectacular, intense and emotional tennis each time they play. Everyone remember their epic 2008 Wimbledon final of course.
What’s your favorite Nadal-Federer match?

You can click the column to sort the table:

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score R. F. R. N.
1. 2004 Masters Series Miami Hard R32 Nadal 6–3, 6–3 0 1
2. 2005 Masters Series Miami Hard Final Federer 2–6, 6–7(4), 7–6(5), 6–3, 6–1 1 1
3. 2005 French Open Clay Semi-final Nadal 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3 1 2
4. 2006 Dubai Hard Final Nadal 2–6, 6–4, 6–4 1 3
5. 2006 Masters Series Monte Carlo Clay Final Nadal 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–3, 7–6(5) 1 4
6. 2006 Masters Series Rome Clay Final Nadal 6–7(0), 7–6(5), 6–4, 2–6, 7–6(5) 1 5
7. 2006 French Open Clay Final Nadal 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(4) 1 6
8. 2006 Wimbledon Grass Final Federer 6–0, 7–6(5), 6–7(2), 6–3 2 6
9. 2006 Tennis Masters Cup Hard Semi-final Federer 6–4, 7–5 3 6
10. 2007 Masters Series Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay Final Nadal 6–4, 6–4 3 7
11. 2007 Masters Series Hamburg Clay Final Federer 2–6, 6–2, 6–0 4 7
12. 2007 French Open Clay Final Nadal 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 4 8
13. 2007 Wimbledon, London, England Grass Final Federer 7–6(7), 4–6, 7–6(3), 2–6, 6–2 5 8
14. 2007 Tennis Masters Cup Hard Semi-final Federer 6–4, 6–1 6 8
15. 2008 Masters Series Monte Carlo Clay Final Nadal 7–5, 7–5 6 9
16. 2008 Masters Series Hamburg Clay Final Nadal 7–5, 6–7(3), 6–3 6 10
17. 2008 French Open Clay Final Nadal 6–1, 6–3, 6–0 6 11
18. 2008 Wimbledon Grass Final Nadal 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7 6 12
19. 2009 Australian Open Hard Final Nadal 7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2 6 13
20. 2009 Madrid Masters Clay Final Federer 6–4, 6–4 7 13
21. 2010 Madrid Masters Clay Final Nadal 6–4, 7–6(5) 7 14
22. 2010 London Hard Final Federer 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 8 14
23. 2011 Miami Hard SF Nadal 6-3, 6-2 8 15
24. 2011 Madrid Clay SF Nadal 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 8 16
25. 2011 French Open Clay F Nadal 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 8 17

Rafa by the numbers

6 Grand Slam titles, 3 Davis Cup, 1 Olympic gold medal, 18 Masters Series titles. At 24, the only trophy missing to his impressive collection is the US Open crown.

Some of Rafa’s records:
– 81 consecutive wins on clay
– 18 Masters Series titles
– 6 consecutive titles in a tournament (Monte Carlo)
– the only player to win 400 singles matches in fewer than 500 matches played
– the only player to win all 3 clay court Masters Series in the same season
and on and on

Here you can find the details of Rafa’s singles titles:

Grand Slam:
You can click on the column to sort by year, championship, surface…

Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
2005 French Open Clay Mariano Puerta 6–7(6), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5
2006 French Open (2) Clay Roger Federer 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(4)
2007 French Open (3) Clay Roger Federer 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
2008 French Open (4) Clay Roger Federer 6–1, 6–3, 6–0
2008 Wimbledon Grass Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7
2009 Australian Open Hard Roger Federer 7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gEHBhd2c1s[/youtube]