In a clash of tennis icons, Novak Djokovic plays Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Tuesday May 31. 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
Nadal and Djokovic have met 58 times in their career thus far, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head 30-28. Nadal leads the head-to-head on clay 19-8 as well as leading 10-7 at the majors. The King of Clay leads 7-2 at Roland Garros as well.
Their last meeting was at the semi-finals of the 2021 French Open which Djokovic won in an epic four-setter going on to win the title.
Another Clinical Djokovic Win
Novak Djokovic has gone from strength to strength over the clay court swing.
After being unable to play in Australia, Indian Wells and Miami and an early exit at the ATP 500 in Dubai, the adjustment to clay was not easy for Djokovic and the lack of match practice was very evident.
From struggles and losses in Monte Carlo and Belgrade, the Serb got his belief back in Rome where he won an ATP title for the first time in 2022 and for the first time since Wimbledon 2021.
It was a clinical start by the world number one this week here at Roland Garros with straight set wins over Yoshihito Nishioka, Alex Molcan and Aljaz Bedene coming into the round of 16.
Up against Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round, Djokovic was aware of the challenges that the Argentine could bring on clay. However, the Serb was off to a flyer closing the first set 6-1.
Schwartzman upped the ante to go up 3-0 in the second but the world number one was not be left far behind for too long.
Six consecutive games won by Djokovic ensured he took a two sets to love lead and after that there was no looking back for the Serb as another 6-3 set followed.
Djokovic into another Roland Garros quarter-final and this time faces his biggest rival, none other than the King of Clay Rafa Nadal.
Nadal Prevails in Auger-Aliassime Tussle
21-time Grand Slam champion and 13-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal arrived in Paris with a cloud of uncertainty around his fitness and preparations for the second major of the year.
A season that began with a sensational Aussie Open win and an ATP 500 title at Acupulco got hampered by a rib injury at Indian Wells that saw him lose the title round and followed by a recurring foot issue at the Masters 1000 in Rome.
Nadal looked untroubled in the first three rounds here at the French Open as he came through in straight sets each time, but it was much different against the 21-year-old being coached by none other than his uncle Toni Nadal, i.e Felix Auger- Aliassime.
Auger-Aliassime was off to a quick start breaking the Nadal serve to go up 3-1 after saving break points on his serve at 2-1. Another Nadal service break followed as the Canadian rushed to a 6-1 first set.
It was a hard fought second set but King of Clay broke up 4-3 to close the set 6-3 as he looked like crawling back into the match. The third set was all Nadal as he broke serve twice to take a two sets to one lead with a convincing 6-2 set.
Just when it looked like it was clinical Nadal at Roland Garros again, Auger- Aliassime played some big strokes early in the fourth set to break. Despite losing the break, the Canadian did extremely well to break back again and close the set 6-3, to force a decider.
The fifth set was off to an even start and questions loomed on Nadal’s body holding on for a long one- but the Spaniard upped the aggression up 4-3 to break the Canadian and serve out the match to improve his Roland Garros record to 109-3 Win/Loss and set up the Mother of All Battles on Tuesday.
Nadal v Djokovic Prediction and Tip
In of the most (if not the most) gloried rivalries in the sport, Nadal and Djokovic meet yet again. It is never easy to pick a winner here and it is this match-up that brings out the best in both.
Nadal is borderline unbeatable on this court, but of the three losses in 112 matches, two have been to Djokovic.
The Serb is looking on point and has more left in the tank at the moment. Expect another Battle Royale, with the world number one inching forward in a four-setter as the Nadal body is still not where it needs to be to win this tussle.