Five Facts About Rafael Nadal's 52nd Meeting With Novak Djokovic At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Five Facts About Rafael Nadal’s 52nd Meeting With Novak Djokovic At Wimbledon

The numbers behind one of the biggest rivalries in tennis.

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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

Friday at the All England Club will see the resumption of one of the greatest rivalries in the modern history of tennis.

Second seed Rafael Nadal faces 12th seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the Wimbledon final. The winner will secure themselves at least £1.125 million in prize money as well as 1200 ranking points. Both of which would almost double if they go on to win the title.

With so much at stake for both men, here are five things to know about Nadal’s latest match against Djokovic.

1. It’s the most comprehensive rivalry in history

The upcoming clash at Wimbledon will be the 52nd meeting between the two players. An Open Era record for the most tour match-ups. Both Nadal and Djokovic are involved in the three biggest rivalries in men’s tennis in terms of matches played :-

Most tour-level match-ups in the Open Era (prior to 13/7/18)
1. Djokovic – Nadal at 51 (Djokovic leads 26-25)
2. Djokovic – Roger Federer at 45 (Djokovic leads 22-23)
3. Nadal – Federer at 38 (Nadal leads 23-15)

Looking at solely grand slam matches, they will lock horns for the 14th time in a major. In the history of the modern game, only twice have two men’s players faced each other 14 or more times in a grand slam. The other is Djokovic and Federer, who has played each other 15 times so far.

2. Head-to-head in detail

(2004–present) Djokovic Nadal
Grand Slam 4 9
Tennis Masters Cup 3 2
ATP Masters Series 16 11
ATP International Series Gold 2 0
ATP International Series 1 1
Davis Cup 0 1
Olympics 0 1
Total 26 25

By surface

Clay -Nadal leads 16-7
Grass – Nadal leads 2-1
Hard courts – Djokovic leads 14-5
Indoor hard-courts – Djokovic leads 4-2

3. Djokovic looks to break the semi-final jinx

Wimbledon is the fifth time the two have squared off in the semi-final of a grand slam. In the past, facing Nadal at this stage of a major has been a nightmare for Djokovic. The Serbian has lost all of those previous encounters. However, three of those occurred at the French Open. A event Nadal has won 11 times before. The other was at Wimbledon 2007 when Djokovic was forced to retire due to an infected toe blister.

4. The level of their rivalry

Incredibly, there has only been four occasions in history where Nadal has faced Djokovic before the quarter-final of a tournament. To put this into perspective, they have met 24 times in a tournament final.

Early round meetings

  • 2007 Tennis Masters Cup (round robin)
  • 2009 Davis Cup (R1)
  • 2009 ATP World Tour Finals (round robin)
  • 2010 ATP World Tour Finals (round robin)

5. The unique record

No other player in history has defeated Djokovic in a grand slam more times than Nadal. He has recorded a total of nine wins over the Serbian so far in his career. Coincidentally, Djokovic is the only player to have ever scored four wins over the Spaniard in a major.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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