Five Records The Djokovic-Nadal Rivalry Have Broken - UBITENNIS
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Five Records The Djokovic-Nadal Rivalry Have Broken

UbiTennis looks at the milestones that has been achieved by tennis giants Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.



On Sunday afternoon at the French Open the latest instalment of one of the greatest tennis rivalries of all-time will get underway.

World No.1 Novak Djokovic will play 12-time champion Rafael Nadal on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Djokovic will be seeking only his second title in Paris and first since 2015 in what is a stark contrast to his rival. A win would make Nadal the first player – male or female – to have won 100 matches at Roland Garros and give him a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title.

“He’s definitely my greatest rival,” Djokovic said of the world No.2 ahead of the final.
“Playing him in so many great matches over the past will of course have some effect in terms of respect towards each other.’
“Motivation to get out on the court and play your best, knowing that we both have to be at our best in order to win against each other.”

It was at the French Open where the rivalry between the two tennis greats began. In 2006 a 19-year-old Djokovic reached his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final where he faced Nadal, who is just under 11 months younger than him. Nadal rallied to a 6-4, 6-4, lead before the showdown unfortunately ended due to the Serbian suffering from a lower back injury. Little did they know at the time that the meeting would be the first of many that has rewritten tennis history books multiple times.

“The only thing I know is to play against Novak, I need to play my best. Without playing my best tennis, the situation is very difficult,” said Nadal.

To put into perspective how significant the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry is, here are five records they have been broken over the years.

  1. Sunday will be a record 56th meeting between Nadal and Djokovic. The duo holds the record for the most tour-level match-up’s on the ATP Tour in the Open Era and are one of two groups of players to have played each other 50 or more times. The second highest match-up also involves Djokovic, who has played Roger Federer 50 times.
  2. Since 1969, Nadal and Djokovic have played each other more times at the French Open than anybody else in men’s tennis. The upcoming clash will be their eighth meeting with Nadal winning six out of their previous seven matches. Making the Spaniard the player with the most victories over the world No.1 in Grand Slams – Nadal has also defeated Djokovic two times at other major events.

    On the Other hand, Djokovic is one of two players in history to have defeated Nadal at the tournament along with Sweden’s Robin Soderling.
  3. It is the ninth time the two have locked horns in a Grand Slam final. A record-equalling milestone for most major finals contested between two players. Overall they have played each other 15 times in a Grand Slam tournament and it was at the French Open where they had their first ever meeting back in 2006.
  4. For only the second time in French Open history the same two players will contest the men’s final for a third time. Nadal won their two previous final clashes back in 2012 and 2014. Both of those victories were in four sets. Nadal has also played Federer four times in the final of the French Open.
  5. Djokovic and Nadal have already played each other in 26 Tour Finals (excluding the 2020 French Open) with the Serbian currently leading their head-to-head 15-11. This is an Open Era record on the ATP Tour.

Head to head break down

Grand Slams: Nadal leads 9-6
Tennis Masters Cup/ ATP Finals: Djokovic leads 3-2
Masters 1000: Djokovic leads 16-12
ATP International Gold Series/500: Djokovic leads 2-0
ATP International/250: Tied at 1-1
Davis Cup: Nadal leads 1-0
ATP Cup: Djokovic leads 1-0
Olympic Games: Nadal leads 1-0

Clay: Nadal leads 17-7
Hard Court’s: Djokovic leads 20-7
Grass: tied at 2-2

Djokovic leads 29-26


Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two



Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket



The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.


Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.


Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.


Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open



Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

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