Five Things To Know About Novak Djokovic’s 58th Meeting With Rafael Nadal At The French Open - UBITENNIS
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Five Things To Know About Novak Djokovic’s 58th Meeting With Rafael Nadal At The French Open

15 years on from their first Tour meeting, the two tennis giants will lock horns once again with plenty at stake for each of them.

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Rafa Nadal e Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2020 (via Twitter, @rolandgarros)

Friday at the French Open will see the resumption of one of the biggest rivalries in tennis.

 

World No.1 Novak Djokovic will take on king of clay Rafael Nadal with a place in the final at stake. It was at the French Open where the two players first played each other back in 2006. On that occasion Nadal won after his opponent was forced to retire during their match due to injury.

For sure he’s the best on the surface, but he’s not unbeatable,” a young Djokovic told reporters afterwards.

Little did they know at the time that their clash would be the start of what has become one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport. Their head-to-head record has rewritten the history books for various reasons.

Ahead of their latest clash in Paris, here are five things to know about the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry.

The head-to-head

It will be the 58th time Djokovic has played Nadal on the Tour in what is an Open Era record. Furthermore they will clash at a major for the 17th time which equals the record for the most played men’s match. Djokovic has also played Federer 17 times in a Grand Slam.

The world No.1 currently leads his on-court nemesis 29-28. However, he has a losing record against Nadal when it comes to playing him in major events (6-10), at the French Open (1-7) and on clay (7-19). He is one of only two players to have ever defeated Nadal at Roland Garros back in 2015. The other was Robin Söderling in 2009. Therefore, if he was to win on Friday he would become the first player in history to have beaten the Spaniard multiple times in the tournament.

Gunning for No.29

Whoever wins the clash will be through to their 29th Grand Slam final in what is the second highest in history among male players. Federer currently holds the record at 31. Djokovic reached his first major final at the 2007 US Open and has won a total of 18 titles since then. Meanwhile, Nadal has won a total of 20 trophies since his debut in a major final at the 2005 French Open.

Furthermore, Nadal is seeking his record 14th appearance in a Roland Garros final which is more than double that of any other player in history. Djokovic is seeking his sixth appearance which would place him joint-second on the all-time list with Bjorn Borg.

A battle of the ages

The combined age of the clash (69 years, 32 days) makes it the fifth oldest semi-final match to take place at a Grand Slam since 1968. Nadal’s age is 35 years and 10 days and Djokovic’s is 34 years and 22 days. At the French Open alone, it is the third oldest encounter after 1968 (Rod Laver against Pancho Gonzales) and 2019 (Nadal against Federer).

Should Nadal win he would become the oldest man to reach a French Open final and the first to do so after turning 35. As for Djokovic, he would become the fourth oldest.

Nadal’s semi-final record

The world No.3 has a remarkable record when it comes to playing in the semi-finals at Roland Garros. He has won all 13 of his previous semi-final matches at the tournament and only dropped a total of three sets. Two of those sets were against Djokovic when they clashed in 2013.

Since winning the title in 2005, there has only been three occasions where hasn’t reached this stage of the draw – 2009 (lost to Söderling in round four), 2015 (lost to Djokovic in the quarter-finals) and 2016 (withdrew from the tournament due to injury).

In contrast, Djokovic has won five out of 10 French Open semi-finals he has contested.

Djokovic targets Open Era record

Should Djokovic prevail over Nadal and go on to win the title he will break another record. Becoming the first man in the Open Era to have won each Grand Slam title on multiple occasions. The only players in history to have even achieved this milestone was Roy Emerson and Laver.

Breakdown of Head-to-head

YearEventSurfaceRNDWinnerResult
2021ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal75 16 63
2020Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal60 62 75
2020ATP Cup
Australia
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 764
2019ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal60 46 61
2019Australian Open
Australia
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 62 63
2018Wimbledon
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassSFNovak Djokovic64 36 769 36 108
2018ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal764 63
2017ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Spain
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal62 64
2016ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayQFNovak Djokovic75 764
2016ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic765 62
2016Doha
Qatar
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic61 62
2015ATP Finals
Great Britain
Indoor HardSFNovak Djokovic63 63
2015Beijing
China
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 62
2015Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClayQFNovak Djokovic75 63 61
2015ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Monaco
Outdoor ClaySFNovak Djokovic63 63
2014Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal36 75 62 64
2014ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic46 63 63
2014ATP Masters 1000 Miami
FL, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 63
2013ATP Finals
Great Britain
Indoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 64
2013Beijing
China
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 64
2013US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFRafael Nadal62 36 64 61
2013ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Canada
Outdoor HardSFRafael Nadal64 36 762
2013Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal64 36 61 673 97
2013ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Monaco
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic62 761
2012Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal64 63 26 75
2012ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal75 63
2012ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Monaco
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal63 61
2012Australian Open
Australia
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic57 64 62 675 75
2011US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 64 673 61
2011Wimbledon
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassFNovak Djokovic64 61 16 63
2011ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic64 64
2011ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Spain
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic75 64
2011ATP Masters 1000 Miami
FL, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic46 63 764
2011ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic46 63 62
2010ATP Finals
Great Britain
Indoor HardRRRafael Nadal75 62
2010US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFRafael Nadal64 57 64 62
2009ATP Finals
Great Britain
Indoor HardRRNovak Djokovic765 63
2009ATP Masters 1000 Paris
France
Indoor HardSFNovak Djokovic62 63
2009ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati
OH, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic61 64
2009ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Spain
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal36 765 769
2009ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal762 62
2009ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Monaco
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal63 26 61
2009ESP vs. SRB WG 1st RD
Spain
Outdoor ClayRRRafael Nadal64 64 61
2008Beijing Olympics
China
Outdoor HardSFRafael Nadal64 16 64
2008ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati
OH, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic61 75
2008London / Queen’s Club
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassFRafael Nadal766 75
2008Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal64 62 763
2008ATP Masters 1000 Hamburg
Germany
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal75 26 62
2008ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic63 62
2007Tennis Masters Cup
China
Indoor HardRRRafael Nadal64 64
2007ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Canada
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic75 63
2007Wimbledon
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassSFRafael Nadal36 61 41 RET
2007Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal75 64 62
2007ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Italy
Outdoor ClayQFRafael Nadal62 63
2007ATP Masters 1000 Miami
FL, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardQFNovak Djokovic63 64
2007ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFRafael Nadal62 75
2006Roland Garros
France
Outdoor ClayQFRafael Nadal64 64
source: atptour.com

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Andy Murray Outlines ‘Big Concern’ About His Current Fitness Ahead Of US Open

The 35-year-old is looking to see if he can find a reason behind his latest problem on the Tour.

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Andy Murray (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Britain’s Andy Murray has admitted that he is alarmed about the frequency of cramping he is experiencing during matches played in North America this season.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion crashed out of the Western and Southern Open on Wednesday after losing in three sets to compatriot Cameron Norrie. During the closing stages of their encounter, it was visible that Murray was once again struggling with cramps. A condition that occurs when a muscle shortens and causes a sudden pain that can make it hard to move.

It is usual for athletes to experience cramps but for Murray the issue is a ‘big concern’ for him. Saying that this year is the first time in his career he has suffered from the issue on a regular basis.

“I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions,” Murray said during his press conference.
“But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. It’s not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently like over a number of tournaments.
“It’s a big concern for me because it’s not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end (of his match against Norrie). I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match.”

Murray says his cramping occurs ‘predominantly’ in his legs but different parts. The former world No.1 is now looking into seeing if he can find a possible explanation as to what might be triggering the cramps. The issue comes less than two weeks before the start of the US Open.

“It’s a big concern for me that and something that I need to address and find a solution for,” he said. “No one knows exactly why cramps happen. There are many reasons, whether its hydration, whether it’s the food that you have taken in, whether it’s fatigue and lack of conditioning, stress.’
“I need to try and understand what’s going on there.”

Since Wimbledon, Murray has achieved a win-loss record of 3-4 on the Tour with his best run being to the quarter-finals in Newport. He is currently ranked 47th in the world.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: A Loaded Schedule Features All Third Round Matches

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Emma Raducanu on Monday in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

Thursday’s schedule in Cincinnati is overflowing with appealing contests.  ATP third round singles action is especially stacked, featuring 11 of the world’s top 20, including world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz.  WTA action features top names such as world No.1 Iga Swiatek and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

 

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Thursday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

It’s been a tough season for Raducanu, but she seems to be peaking just in time for her US Open title defense.  The 19-year-old followed up her comfortable victory over Serena Williams by dominating Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2.  She is currently in a trial coaching relationship with Dmitry Tursunov, who in recent years guided the careers of two other WTA players to new heights (Sabalenka, Kontaveit).  That partnership appears to be paying immediate dividends for Emma, much like Tursunov’s coaching did for Aryna and Anett.  Pegula has become the American No.1, and since last August, has reached the semifinals at three WTA 1000 events in North America, including just last week in Toronto.  But in their first career meeting, Raducanu’s blistering form this week makes her the favorite.


Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Grand Stand

This is a rematch from three months ago at the Madrid Masters 1000 event, where Auger-Aliassime crushed Sinner 6-1, 6-2.  That was an especially surprising result on clay, which is not Felix’s best surface.  The 22-year-old Canadian is now 35-19 on the year, and defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets on Wednesday.  Sinner has a slightly better record of 38-10, and on Tuesday, outlasted Thanasi Kokkinakis in an over three-hour match decided by a third-set tiebreak.  Over the last few months, Sinner has been the more in-form player.  Jannik has won nine of his last 11 matches, while Felix has only managed five of his last 10.  With not much separating their abilities, confidence may be key, and that’s to Sinner’s advantage.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – Fritz easily dismissed of an obviously-hampered Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday.  Rublev came back from a set down to take out Fabio Fognini.  Taylor is 3-2 against Andrey, which includes a straight set victory earlier this year at Indian Wells.

Petra Kvitova vs. Ons Jabeur (5) – Jabeur saved three match points on Wednesday against Ohio native Katy McNally.  A round earlier, Kvitova saved match point against last year’s runner-up, Jil Teichmann.  Petra leads their head-to-head 3-1, though Ons earned her first win in their friendly rivalry this season.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Madison Keys – On Wednesday, Swiatek outlasted the other finalist from the 2017 US Open, Sloane Stephens.  On the same day, Keys ousted another French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko. 

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Denis Shapovalov – This week, Shapovalov has earned his first back-to-back wins since May.  He has split four previous meetings with Medvedev, though Daniil has claimed their most recent two. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Diego Schwartzman (13) – Schwartzman already survived two three-setters this week.  He’s 2-2 overall against Tsitsipas, though Diego has taken both of their matches on hard courts. 

Marin Cilic (14) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Cilic won this event in 2016.  He’s 1-1 against Alcaraz, who is now 43-8 in 2022.


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Brits Andy Murray and Cam Norrie Meet in the Second Round

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A look at Center Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center (twitter.com/cincytennis)

On Monday, Andy Murray overcame another three-time Major singles champion, Stan Wawrinka, in a three-hour thriller.  In the second round, he meets the new British No.1 Cam Norrie, who reached his first Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon.

 

WTA action is headlined by three matches between Slam singles champs, which includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek.  Also on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Andy Murray vs. Cameron Norrie – 11:00am on Center Court

Murray will be happy he had a day of rest after his emotionally and physically taxing match against Wawrinka.  He has compiled a solid record of 23-14 this season, with 2022 being his most active year since 2017, when his hip issues began.  But Norrie has taken his place as the top British male, and has really come into his own over the past 18 months.  Cam is now 38-18 this season, and has reached 10 finals since the start of last year.  Their only prior meeting occurred three years ago in Beijing, with Murray prevailing in a long, tight three-setter that lasted nearly three hours.  But three years later, Norrie is a much-improved competitor.  While playing your fellow countryman is often tricky, especially when they’ve been knighted, Cam should be favored to even their head-to-head.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Sloane Stephens (WC) – Not Before 3:00pm on Grand Stand

Swiatek is vying for her 50th win of the season on Wednesday, with 37 of those victories coming consecutively between February and July.  But since those 37 wins in a row, Iga is only 3-3, and suffered a frustrating loss last week in Toronto to Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-5 in the third after three hours of play.  Stephens continues to be a streaky player, as the 2017 US Open champion has gone on multiple winning and losing streaks of four matches or more throughout the year.  On Monday night, she crushed Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0.  Sloane often plays her best tennis in American hard courts, and advanced to the third round or better of this tournament in seven straight appearances between 2012 and 2019.  These two Major champs have never played before.  Stephens could be primed for another win streak, and it would be understandable if Swiatek experienced a dip in her level after all the tennis she’s played this year.  Yet after dominating the tour for most of the year, Iga should still be favored.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Victoria Azarenka vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – It’s a two-time Australian Open champ against the reigning US Open champ.  Azarenka defeated Kaia Kanepi in three sets on Tuesday, while Raducanu easily prevailed over Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Elena Rybakina vs. Garbine Muguruza (8) – It’s another two-time Major champ against the reigning Wimbledon champ.  Rybakina is 2-2 since her surprising run at The All-England Club, while Muguruza is a subpar 9-13 on the year.  They split two meetings last year, with Elena victorious in the more notable encounter, in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Fritz started the summer by winning the title in Eastbourne, while Kyrgios was the champion in Washington.  This will be their first career meeting.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Borna Coric (PR) – Despite his injury issues, Nadal is a staggering 35-3 in 2022, and 20-1 on hard courts.  Coric missed a full year of action due to shoulder surgery, and is just 12-12 at all levels since returning.  Borna has won two of their four previous meetings, including six years ago at this event.


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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