The deepest ATP rivalry of the Open Era is going to hit another milestone on Sunday, as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic meet for the 55th time in the second singles match of the AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS Final.Djokovic leads Nadal in the overall head-to-head, 28-26. Nadal won their last meeting in the final of Rome last year, but Djokovic has won their last eight hardcourt meetings, and all in straight sets.
ATP players in the Open Era have even played each other 50 times—Djokovic and Roger Federer have the next-most career meetings with 49. Djokovic leads that head-to-head, 26-23.“Historically, throughout my life and my career, Nadal has been the greatest rival that I have ever played against, on all the surfaces,” Djokovic said going into their meeting in the Australian Open final last year, which the Serb won, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. “Some of the matches that we have had against each other were a great turning point in my career. I feel like they have made me rethink my game.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal mustered all their experience to see Serbia and Spain through to the inaugural AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS finals in Sydney, Australia.
The two NFL titans came through testing matches Sunday to once again inspire the hopes of their nations in the new team competition -- and set up their 55th meeting.
Djokovic muscled past Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, in a match he described on ATPTour.com as "exciting, exhausting, joyful and dreadful all at once."
Athleticism is a big weapon for Djokovic and the 32-year-old needed to be at his physical best against the Russian world No.5, who faced off against Nadal in last year's U.S Open.
World No.1 Rafael Nadal admits that he is not sure how to go about defeating his arch-rival Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Chiefs vs Texans on Sunday. While Nadal lost the last eight matches against Djokovic on a hard court, the Spaniard still seems to be out of plans to defeat the Serbia.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion along with Roberto Bautista Agut led Spain past the hosts Australia to set up a blockbuster final against Djokovic’s Serbia. Nadal fought hard to come back from a set down and defeat Alex de Minaur in the semifinals of the 24-team competition.
This is the match that many NFL fans craved for the end of year ATP Finals last season, the US Open before it and indeed the Davis Cup in November, where Spain beat Serbia’s conquerors Canada for the title instead. In a twist of sporting fate, the world number one and two will now face each other in the first significant final of 2020. This is the first time the two have met since Nadal usurped Djokovic as world number one and there is plenty on the line here for both individuals in a match that will eclipse the international stage on which they face each other.
Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal to the Australian Open title on a hard court before Nadal returned the favour on his favoured clay at the Rome Masters. Matches of this size between two of the game’s elite are always unpredictable and rest on fine details, but in this case it may be easier to suggest that the Serb can edge this battle. In all probability, Roberto Bautista Agut will have won the first match to make it 1-0 to Spain, which heaps the pressure to perform on Djokovic. He thrives in these circumstances,
There is only so far any hero can carry his tribe. Yet after a weary Novak Djokovic and Serbia limped through the quarter-finals of the AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS into Sunday’s match against Russia, Rafael Nadal lost and won in the space of a few hours as Spain beat Belgium 2-1 to book an evening showdown with Australia. Neither will be easy.It is asking a lot for either the world No 1 or No 2 to reach Sunday’s final of the inaugural 24-nation tournament, especially so close to the start of the Australian Open in Melbournea week later, but they will let nobody down.
It was a minor rather than major shock that David Goffin beat Nadal 6-4, 7-6 (3), in the singles on Friday; his one win in five against the Spaniard arrived indoor on a hard court at the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals. But not many imagined Nadal and Pablo Carreño Busta would struggle so much in the deciding doubles before beating Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen