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By Chris Oddo | Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rafa and Nole

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet for the 41st time on Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final in Rome. Join us as we go inside the numbers of this storied rivalry.

Photo Source: Andy Kentla

No two rivals in ATP history have met more than them, and on the eve of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's heavily anticipated Rome final, we take a journey inside the numbers.

The numbers of times that Nadal and Djokovic will have met after Sunday, which will be the most of any two players in Open Era history.

More than:

McEnroe v. Lendl (36, Lendl leads 21-15)
Becker v. Edberg (35, Becker leads 25-10 )
Lendl v. Connors (35, Lendl leads 22-13)
Sampras v. Agassi (34, Sampras leads 20-14)
McEnroe vs. Connors (34, McEnroe leads 20-14)
Djokovic vs. Federer (34, Federer leads 18-16)

The combined number of weeks that Nadal and Djokovic have spent at No. 1 as of this week. Nadal has 134 and Djokovic has 101.

Nadal holds the edge in the pair's career head-to-head mark. Djokovic took their last battle in the Sony Open final at Miami in March, 6-3, 6-3.

The numbers of players to own three or more victories against Rafael Nadal on clay. Gaston Gaudio owns three, as does Novak Djokovic.

The number of winning streaks of three or more matches that Rafael Nadal has put together against Novak Djokovic.

The number of finals that the pair have contested. Djokovic leads 11-9, on the strength of a 7-3 edge in hard court finals.

The duration, in minutes, of the pair's longest best-of-three set match. Nadal defeated Djokovic, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) in the 2009 Madrid semi.

The longest winning streak that one has achieved against the other. Djokovic won seven consecutive finals against Nadal, beginning at Indian Wells in 2011 and ending at the Australian Open in 2013. Nadal's longest streak against Djokovic is five.

Nadal holds the edge in deciding sets against Djokovic, but the pair have split their two fifth sets, with Djokovic winning in Australia in 2012 and Nadal winning at Roland Garros in 2013.

Nadal's record against Djokovic on clay. The Spaniard has taken four of the last five, while the pair have split the last two.

Nadal's record on clay, which includes 44 titles and a 51-match winning streak in clay-court semifinals.

Djokovic's record on clay, which includes 8 titles.

Djokovic's record against Nadal in clay-court finals. The pair have split their last six title tilts on clay.

The number of strokes that Nadal and Djokovic played in this ridiculous rally during their 2013 U.S. Open final.

Nadal’s record against Djokovic in tiebreakers.

The date the Djokovic and Nadal played their first tour-level match. Djokovic retired after dropping the first two sets in the 2006 French Open quarterfinals.

Number of Grand Slam finals that the pair have played. They have split the six, with Nadal winning the last two.

Length of Nadal's career-best clay-court winning streak. His current streak is now at nine.

Remarkably, Djokovic is the only man to own three or more Grand Slam victories against Nadal. Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray each own two. 

Number of times that the pair have met as No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. Djokovic carried the No. 1 ranking against No. 2 Nadal six times, going 3-3. Nadal held the No. 1 ranking six times against No. 2 Djokovic, going 1-6.

The length of their 2012 Australian final, which is the longest Grand Slam final in the history of tennis.


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