Tuesday will be a red day at Roland Garros, as world number one and defending men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic takes on world number 5 and Roland Garros king Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
This clash of two titans is a repeat of last year’s semi-final, which Djokovic won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 to advance to the final. In the title clash, Djokovic defeated Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets to win his second French Open.
Naturally, Nadal – a record 13-time champion – will be eager to do better than Djokovic this time around and come one step closer to reclaiming the French Open title.
As the quarter-finals approach, form is on Djokovic’s side. The Serb is yet to drop a set at Roland-Garros this year. He demolished Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, Slovakia’s Molcan, Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman to reach the round of 16 of the tournament.
But Djokovic knows that it is only on clay, and in particular at Roland-Garros and whatever the form, the seeds and the rankings, that the only player who cannot be ruled out at any time is Nadal.
Nadal’s mastery of the French Open shone for the umpteenth time as he beat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the fourth round in a five-set brawl which lasted 4 hours and 21 minutes. Before that, Nadal overtook Australian Jordan Thompson, Frenchman Corentin Moutet and Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp to set up the quarter-final clash against Djokovic.
Ahead of the men’s singles quarter-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, here’s everything you need to know
Djokovic vs Nadal head-to-head
Matches played: 58
Victory for Novak Djokovic: 30
Rafael Nadal wins: 28
Djokovic vs Nadal head-to-head on clay:
Matches played: 27
Victory for Novak Djokovic: 8
Rafael Nadal wins: 19
Djokovic vs. Nadal head-to-head at Roland-Garros:
Matches played: 9
Victory for Novak Djokovic: 2
Rafael Nadal wins: seven
Djokovic vs Nadal Best singles performance at Roland-Garros
Djokovic winner of the French Open 2021 and 2016.
Nadal winner of the French Open 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005.
Djokovic vs Nadal singles titles
Djokovic singles titles: 87
Nadal titles in singles: 91
First post: STI