The top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal meet in a high stakes final at Roland Garros on Sunday, October 11th. The exact timing of the match is yet to be determined. Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal Head to Head
One of the most storied rivalries ever on the men’s tour, this is the 56th encounter between Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal. Djokovic leads the head-to-head narrowly by 29-26. But, they have met 7 times here at the French Open and the ‘King of Clay’ Nadal has a convincing 6-1 lead. They have played two French Open finals, in 2012 and 2014 with Nadal winning both.
Superhuman At Roland Garros, Nadal Going for #13
Rafael Nadal is in yet another French Open final, his 13th final at Roland Garros and a match away from a record 13th French Open title, equaling Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam record, and a potential 100th win at Roland Garros, if he were to win the title here. He may have had a difficult draw and he may have played opponents he is not too familiar with, but we are back in the final as effortlessly and casually as is the norm with Nadal in Paris.
After early round matches that at times felt like intense hitting sessions, Nadal was up against somebody in the quarters, i.e. Jannik Sinner, who although only 19 years old was on a great run having defeated David Goffin and Alexander Zverev at the French Open this year already. Sinner was up a break in both of the first two sets and had his chances, but the occasion may have got the better of him as he lost the edge both times and eventually lost straight sets after putting up a good fight against Nadal.
In the semi-finals , Nadal was up against Argentine Diego Schwartzman (d Nadal in Rome), who is in some of the best form of his life, breaking into the top ten, and winning the epic match against Dominic Thiem last round. The Argentine gave it all he had and even ended up in a ~three hours long battle, but nothing is sufficient against Nadal- at least not in Paris.
Although there has been a lot of talk about Paris in October vis a vis Paris in June and the sort, Nadal will know he needs to focus on the task in hand, which is just one more victory and a very important one that too.
A mix of heavy balls, slow conditions and colder weather have been made Nadal feel less at home this year, and of course he has missed the fans. However, Nadal is in another Roland Garros final, not a place he can take lightly and fittingly plays the world number one Djokovic for another spot in history, whatever the outcome.
Invincible Djokovic Aiming For New Highs
World number one Novak Djokovic is in his fifth French Open final and in search of his second title at Roland Garros. The Serb has lost two finals to Nadal (’12, ’14) and one to Stanislas Wawrinka in 2015, before defeating Andy Murray for his first French Open title in 2016. A victory here will make Djokovic the first man to win each major at least twice in the Open area, having already won the Australian Open (8 times,) Wimbledon (5 times), and the US Open (3 times), in addition to his 2016 French Open title.
Djokovic dominated the 2020 tennis season going into the Covid-19 hiatus and remained unbeaten. Coming back on the tour at the Western & Southern Open, there were a few hiccups and close matches against Daniil Medvedev and Roberto Bautista Agut, but the outcome was the same; Djokovic remaining unbeaten and another title in the bag.
Despite the unfortunate US Open incident alluded to above, the return to clay was strong and the Rome Masters was Djokovic’s, taking the lead in the Masters 1000 all-time tally.
The French Open started no different and opponents like Mikael Ymer, Ricardas Berankis and Colombian Galan were disposed of winning no more than five games each in what sometimes looked like slightly intense hitting sessions. Up against Next Gen Russian Karen Khachanov in the round of 16, someone who has beaten him before, the outcome was no different, with Djokovic dropping just a few more games.
Drawn against the opponent from the controversial US Open loss, Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-final, it was no easy outing for the world number one. The match was off to an even start, with the Spaniard winning the first set 6-4.
Djokovic looked uncomfortable physically and needed assistance on his neck and shoulder. The second set also got off to an even start, but after a medical timeout, the Serb got his movement back and eventually clinched the set. The next two sets saw some ebbs and flows, but Djokovic ensured he won the big points and applied pressure when needed most and eventually clinched a well fought match that lasted for three hours, in four sets.
Djokovic was up against Next Gen Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals; someone with whom he has a close 3-2 head-to-head. Tsitsipas was in good form throughout the tournament, but looked like he was not going to be able to match the world number one, who won the first two sets 6-2, 6-3.
Up a break in the third and coasting towards a straight sets victory, Djokovic was up a match point at 5-4 but a slight drop in the top seed’s level compounded with an increase in Tstisipas’ level resulted in a 7-5 set win for the Greek.
A more evenly matched fourth set followed but Djokovic succumbed under pressure and lost the set 4-6, taking the match into the final set. In no time, the more experienced Djokovic was at his best and ran through the set 6-1, with there being some evidence of visible discomfort to Tsitsipas with niggles and other such.
A valiant but incredible Tsitsipas effort, and another major final for Djokovic is now upon us.
Djokovic v Nadal Prediction and Tip
Nadal v Djokovic makes for one of the most difficult matches to pick , it always has been the case and expect it to continue be this time around. A vintage battle on the cards, with both players looking to go for it, with there being no obvious winner. It all comes town to the day of, and it is hard to fathom Djokovic not starting as the favorite.
As a slugfest beckons, the tennis world is in for a special ride. In the meantime, we look forward to a tight battle on Sunday and there can be only one winner- Djokovic to oust Nadal for the first time record in the Open era.
Tip: Djokovic to win in four sets: 9/2 (bet365)