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Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal: French Open Final Preview and Prediction

The two legends will add another glorious chapter to their famed rivalry as top seed Novak Djokovic takes on the second seed Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

Key Insights

  • Nadal is aiming for his record 13th French Open title and a 20th grand slam title to draw level with Roger Federer.
  • Nadal has won all his matches in straight sets so far.
  • Nadal has never lost a French Open final in his career.
  • Djokovic is targetting a 2nd French Open title and a double grand slam.
  • Djokovic has an 11 match unbeaten streak on clay.
  • Djokovic leads the head to head record 29-26 against Nadal.
  • Djokovic has won 14 of his last 20 matches against Nadal.
  • Nadal leads Djokovic 9-6 in grand slams and 6-1 at the French Open.
  • Djokovic and Nadal are tied 4-4 in major finals.
  • Nadal has a mind-boggling 99-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros.
  • Nadal leads the head to head record on clay with 17 wins and 7 losses.
  • Nadal last lost to Djokovic on clay in 2016.

 

Nadal vs Djokovic is always legendary   credits: Rolland Garros

Djokovic battled past Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tight five-setter in the semifinals after being two sets up. 

"I hopefully will be able to play my best tennis, because that’s what’s going to be needed in order to have a shot at the trophy, this is what it comes down to, I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I understand what needs to be done and how I need to prepare myself, I’m looking forward to it," said the Serb optimistic about his chances.

Despite playing with heavier balls, slow conditions, and cold weather, Nadal has efficiently adapted to the changes and shown positive results.

Djokovic has come up short in three French Open finals, two against Nadal and one against Stan Wawrinka. Despite playing his best tennis so far, he has overcome an arm injury and struggles with his neck. 

How the Stats map out between Djokovic and Nadal

Player name Novak DjokovicRafael Nadal
Ranking 12
Sets lost so far30
Aces2310
Double faults178
Winners249181
Unforced errors183135
Sets played2118
Percentage of first-serve points won7568
Percentage of second-serve points won5363
Breakpoint conversion rate53% (42 of 79)79% (38 of 48)

Djokovic will look to use his rocket forehand and step up as close to the baseline to negate Nadal. 

"The only thing I know is to play against Novak, I need to play my best, I know that it is a court that I have been playing well for such a long time, so that helps, but at the same time he has an amazing record here, too being in the final rounds almost every single time, it is one of the toughest opponents possible," said Nadal praising Djokovic ahead of the mouthwatering clash.

This extraordinary match can swing either way between both the players as the records will be rewritten tomorrow.

Prediction - Rafael Nadal to win in grueling five sets 

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images 

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