For the 40th time in their common history, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be facing tonight in finals of Miami. A special rivalry.
1. This Rivalry Is The Most “Abundant” In The Open Era
Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will face off for the 40th time. This is unheard of. Far, far away obviously 182 duels between Pancho Gonzalez and Rod Laver, mainly on the pro circuit, before the merger of amateur and professional worlds in 1968 and the birth of the Open era.
But the 46 years of the so-called modern era of tennis, no poster has been most frequently proposed that between the Spanish to Serbian. Behind Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe have played 37 matches. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in 33. 40, this never happened.
2. They Are The Only Ones To Have Competed In The Final Of The Four Grand Slam Tournaments
Everyone can interpret it according to its sensitivity the importance of the rivalry between the two best players on the circuit today. Many prefer it a Federer Nadal. Others will place the McEnroe-Connors or Sampras-Agassi above all. It is a matter of conviction. But one thing is for sure, Djokovic and Nadal will leave a historical footprint: they are the first and only to date, to have competed in the finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments. Well they did after, passing an incredible Grand Slam. Wimbledon 2011, U.S. Open 2011, Australian Open 2012, Roland Garros 2012. Four times in a row, the same appears in the final of a major tournament. Unheard of. For that reason alone, this rivalry will remain apart.
3. Half Of Their Matches Have Been Final
Another striking aspect of this rivalry once in two, there is a title on the line at the end of the meeting. In Miami, it will be the 20th final Nadal Djokovic history. 40 games is not bad. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, which saw Novak Djokovic take power there even had almost as final: 15 of 17 matches.
Exceptions, two semi-finals last year at Roland Garros and Montreal won each time by Nadal.
4. Nadal Has The Advantage In Their Confrontations But …
Rafael Nadal has always had in its direct confrontation with Novak Djokovic. He has now won 22 of their 39 matches. But the supremacy of the Majorcan is largely because he arrived at the top of the tennis world before Novak Djokovic. Between June 2006 and May 2009, Nadal has won 14 out of 18 face Djokovic. But since then, the Serb has generally reversed the trend, since it dominated 13 of their last 21 games. If their results are cut on the last three seasons, Nole flew in 2011 (6-0), Rafa has led the debate (3-1) in the first half of 2012 until his injury mid-season and two champions displayed a fair balance for the year 2013 (3-3).
5. On Hard, Djokovic Advantage
20 of the 39 matches between Nadal and Djokovic held on disk. This will be the 21st Sunday in Florida. And as the Spaniard has the advantage over all of their duels, as Djokovic has the upper hand over his rival on hard, indoor or outdoor. The Djoker leads there 13 wins to 7. It therefore requires an average of two out of three times. If we limit ourselves to only outdoor meetings to eliminate indoor matches, Djokovic still has a pretty clear advantage in similar proportions: 10 wins, 5 against Nadal. In Miami, they have already played twice for two wins Djokovic, who had also signed by his first success on Rafael Nadal in March 2007.
6. They Competed In Every Major Tournament, But One
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played so often they ended up playing everywhere. Above all, they compete in all the major tournaments. There was at least a Nadal-Djokovic in all four Grand Slam tournaments, the Masters, but also in eight of the nine Masters 1000 calendar.
The Major and M1000 are also most of their duels: 32 of 40 counting Sunday’s final. There is little that the Shanghai tournament that lost their common history. For this year, perhaps just to complete their “winners”.
7. The Winner Of The First Set (Almost) Always The Last Word
Between these two, the start of match is crucial. The winner of the first set is almost always the ultimate winner. This was the case 34 times out of 39. Among the few exceptions, the final Miami, in 2011. But also the most famous, the final of the 2012 Australian Open, won in five sets 5:53 and fighting by Djokovic. This is the last time the player who lost the first set has managed to win. In their last nine duels, the winner of the first set won the match. 10 of 10 tonight?