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.




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

2021ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal75 16 63
2020Roland Garros
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal60 62 75
2020ATP Cup
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 764
2019ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal60 46 61
2019Australian Open
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 62 63
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassSFNovak Djokovic64 36 769 36 108
2018ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal764 63
2017ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal62 64
2016ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayQFNovak Djokovic75 764
2016ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic765 62
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic61 62
2015ATP Finals
Great Britain
Indoor HardSFNovak Djokovic63 63
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 62
2015Roland Garros
Outdoor ClayQFNovak Djokovic75 63 61
2015ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Outdoor ClaySFNovak Djokovic63 63
2014Roland Garros
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal36 75 62 64
2014ATP Masters 1000 Rome
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
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic63 64
2013US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFRafael Nadal62 36 64 61
2013ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Outdoor HardSFRafael Nadal64 36 762
2013Roland Garros
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal64 36 61 673 97
2013ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic62 761
2012Roland Garros
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal64 63 26 75
2012ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal75 63
2012ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal63 61
2012Australian Open
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic57 64 62 675 75
2011US Open
NY, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardFNovak Djokovic62 64 673 61
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassFNovak Djokovic64 61 16 63
2011ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayFNovak Djokovic64 64
2011ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
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
Indoor HardSFNovak Djokovic62 63
2009ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati
OH, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic61 64
2009ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal36 765 769
2009ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal762 62
2009ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Outdoor ClayFRafael Nadal63 26 61
2009ESP vs. SRB WG 1st RD
Outdoor ClayRRRafael Nadal64 64 61
2008Beijing Olympics
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
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal64 62 763
2008ATP Masters 1000 Hamburg
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal75 26 62
2008ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A.
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic63 62
2007Tennis Masters Cup
Indoor HardRRRafael Nadal64 64
2007ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Outdoor HardSFNovak Djokovic75 63
Great Britain
Outdoor GrassSFRafael Nadal36 61 41 RET
2007Roland Garros
Outdoor ClaySFRafael Nadal75 64 62
2007ATP Masters 1000 Rome
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
Outdoor ClayQFRafael Nadal64 64


Top Seed Tennys Sandgren Defaulted From Match Two Games In At Challenger Event

The tennis player was on court for less than 20 minutes before the incident happened.




Tennys Sandgren’s appearance at the Atlantic Tire Championships Challenger event in Cary was a very brief one after he was disqualified from his first round match for hitting a lines official with a ball.


The world No.103 was taking on Christopher Eubanks in the first round on Tuesday and got off to a promising start by breaking in the first game before working his way to a 40-30 lead in the second. However, Sandgren then landed himself in hot water after hitting a tennis ball which struck one of the court officials. At the time the American was frustrated after hitting a forehand error.

The bizarre incident wasn’t caught on camera by the tournament livestream but Sandgren gave his version of events shortly after. He said a ball thrown to him by a ball kid hit him in the genitals and after that he slapped a wayward ball towards the fence. However, that wayward ball ended up hitting the ‘tushy’ of a court official.

Immediately after the incident, the tournament supervisor was called to the court by the umpire. Following a brief discussion on the court, Sandgren was then disqualified from the match for an action which he later took full responsibility for.

“Just to be clear, this was all totally my fault,” he wrote on Twitter.

It is not the first time a player has been disqualified for hitting a ball which then struck an official. The most famous incident took place at last year’s US Open when Novak Djokovic was disqualified from his fourth round match after hitting a ball which hit the lineswoman in the throat. In another incident, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified from one of his Davis Cup matches after unintentionally firing a ball into the umpire’s eye.

Sandgren, who is a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, has experienced a disappointing 2021 season so far. The American is yet to win back-to-back matches at a tournament and has only recorded a total of eight wins overall. Since January he has fallen more than 50 places in the ATP rankings.

Full video (go to the 19-minuite mark)

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Daniil Medvedev Marks US Open Milestone With FIFA-Inspired ‘Dead Fish’ Celebration

In his own words, the new champion produced an ‘L2 + Left’ celebration after defeating Novak Djokovic in New York on Sunday.




Daniil Medvedev reacts to winning the Men's Singles championship match at the 2021 US Open, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

Daniil Medvedev’s reaction to winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open wasn’t random. In fact, he has been thinking about his FIFA-inspired celebration since Wimbledon.


On Sunday the world No.2 defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to become only the third Russian man in history to win a major title. The triumph caused heartbreak for his opponent who was on the verge of achieving the elusive Calendar Slam which last happened on the men’s Tour back in 1968. Leading 6-4, 6-4, 5-4, Medvedev sealed victory after a Djokovic return slammed into the net. Prompting him to literally drop to the ground in a somewhat unusual way.

“Only the legends will understand, what I did after the match was a L2 + Left,” he said during the trophy presentation.

The reference was to the game FIFA with L2 + Left being the code for what is called by some as the brick fall celebration or what Medvedev describes as ‘dead fish.’ When a player would just drop to the ground on his side after scoring a goal.

“When I was running through [the draw at] Wimbledon… I was really confident about my game. I think it was one night, you know, you cannot fall asleep. Five, 10 minutes you have crazy thoughts, like every other person,” he said.
“I was like, OK, if I’m going to win Wimbledon, imagine I win it against Novak or whatever. To not celebrate is going to be too boring, because I do it all the time. I need to do something, but I want to make it special.”

Medvedev’s planned celebration was no secret with him openly speaking with others in the locker room leading up to the US Open. No names of who he spoke to were mentioned by the Russian who says his peers described the idea as ‘legendary.’

“I like to play FIFA. I like to play PlayStation. It’s called the dead fish celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this. You’re going to score a goal, you’re up 5-0, you do this one,” he continued.
“Yeah, I talked to the guys in the locker [room], they’re young guys, super chill guys. They play FIFA. They were like, ‘That’s legendary’. Everybody who I saw who plays FIFA thinks that’s legendary. That’s how I wanted to make it… It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.”

It certainly was legendary from Medvedev.

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Medvedev cruises past Auger Aliassime to reach US Open final

Daniil Medvedev is into his third grand slam final after cruising past Felix Auger-Aliassime.




Daniil Medvedev addresses the crowd after winning a Men's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Friday, Sep. 10, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

The world number two booked his spot in Sunday’s final after beating the Canadian in straight sets.


Danil Medvedev is into his third grand slam final at the US Open after beating the Montreal native Felix Auger Aliassime in two hours and four minutes 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 hitting 21 winners and 12 aces in the win.

After winning the first set the Canadian had a chance to even the match but faltered when serving for the second set and that’s when the match completely turned on its head.

“It was a strange match and in the second set where everybody felt it was going to be one set all and you never know where the match is going to go and I managed to save the setpoints and the match turned around completely and I didn’t play my best but I am happy to be in the final on Sunday”.

The first set stayed on serve until 3-3 when the Russian earned the first three breakpoints of the match and got the break to take a 4-3 lead and it was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was almost the same as the first five games went on serve and we didn’t witness a breakpoint until 3-2 when the 21-year-old set it up with a great passing shot and broke to take a 4-2 lead.

At 5-3 with the world number 15 had two set points and that’s where the match turned when the world number two managed to save both and break back and broke the following game and served out the second set.

The world number was in full control now and at 1-1 of the third set managed to get the early break and after consolidating it broke the Canadian serve once again and that was enough for him to serve out the match.

After the match in his on-court interview, Medvedev was asked about playing in his second US Open final and his third overall and if he feels different going into it.

“Last time was a crazy match and if it’s the same match on Sunday I hope I can win this time.”

Medvedev will face the world number one Novak Djokovic, who is looking for the calendar grand slam.

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