World No.1 Novak Djokovic vs claycourt king Rafael Nadal will set-up the dream French Open final on Sunday with both stalwarts eyeing personal milestones at Roland Garros this year. While Novak Djokovic is eyeing to become the first man in the Open Era to complete two Career Grand Slams, Rafael Nadal is bidding to tie Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 major titles.
Notably, both Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other 55 times with the Serbian leading 29-26. However, 12-times Roland Garros champion Nadal, who is considered as the king of claycourt, has managed to upset Djokovic in 6 of their seven clashes at the French major. This is Djokovic and Nadal's 1st clash at Roland Garros since 2015, which was won by the Serbian in straight sets.— US Open Tennis (@usopen) October 9, 2020
Grand Slam title comparison: Nadal vs Djokovic
Novak Djokovic (17)-
Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020)
French Open 2016
Wimbledon (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
US Open (2011, 2015, 2018)
Rafael Nadal (19) -
Australian Open 2009
French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Wimbledon (2008, 2010)
US Open (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)
ROAD TO FINAL: Nadal vs Djokovic
1st round: Beat Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
2nd round: Beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3
3rd round: Beat Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0
4th round: Beat Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1, 6-2
Quarter-finals: Beat Jannik Sinner 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1
Semi-finals: Beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(0)
1st round: Beat Mikael Ymer (6-0, 6-2, 6-3)
2nd round: Beat Ricardas Berankis (6-1 6-2, 6-2)
3rd round: Beat Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros (6-0, 6-3, 6-2)
4th round: Beat Karen Khachanov (6-4, 6-3, 6-3)
Quarter-finals: Beat Pablo Carreno Busta (4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4)
Semi-finals: Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1)
Nadal is definitely my greatest rival: Novak Djokovic
Djokovic termed Nadal 'his greatest rival' on Friday after getting past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 in the semifinals.
"Playing him in so many great matches, of course, the past will have some effect, in terms of respect towards each other, I guess -- motivation to get out on the court and play your best, knowing that we both have to be at our best in order to win against each other," Djokovic said.
French Open history won't matter in final against Djokovic: Nadal
"Different circumstances, different kind of tournament and different situation," Nadal told a news conference.
"I can't predict the future... The only thing I know is to play against Novak, I need to play my best. Without playing my best tennis, the situation is very difficult. I know that is a court that I have been playing well for such a long time, so that helps," he said.
"But at the same time, he has an amazing record here, too, being in the final rounds almost every single time. He is one of the toughest opponents possible. But I am here to keep trying my best. I like to play in this scenario. I know I have to make a step forward. I think I did one today."