Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic preview: Who will prevail at the French Open? Head-to-head record and current form

World number one faces the King of clay in the French Open quarter-finals

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Today sees the world number one, Novak Djokovic, take on Rafael Nadal in the quarter-final of the French Open, in a repeat of last year’s final.

Nadal looked back to his imperious best in the first two sets against Jack Sock in the previous round whilst Djokovic saw off Richard Gasquet in less than two hours, dropping serve only once.

Defending and nine-time French Open champion Nadal, holder of a sterling 70-1 record at Roland Garros, will be hoping to produce a similar result to last year’s final against Djokovic where he was victorious inside four sets. This time around however he could face a much stiffer task, as the world number one has been in scintillating form this season. 

Djokovic’s sensational year so far has seen the Serbian walk away with the Australia Open, as well as a batch of Masters’ events including Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and more recently in Rome.

Interestingly, Djovokic has not dropped a set since his quarter-final match against Kie Nishikori in the Rome Masters and has not lost since the final of the Dubai Masters against Roger Federer on February 28, amounting to 26 consecutive wins.

In contrast, Nadal’s inconsistency has seen the Spaniard have a somewhat unpredictable year to date with his most notable performances being at the Argentina Open in March where he was triumphant and the Madrid Masters, defeating Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych on route to the final where he lost to Andy Murray, 6-3 6-2.

Novak Djokovic has never beaten Nadal at Roland Garros and has twice lost to him in the final


History suggests that Nadal has the upper hand on his opponent going into the tie, having beaten Djokovic 23 times in 43 matches in which 14 of 19 have come on clay. Nevertheless, the last time they met was on clay was at the semi-final of the Monte Carlo Masters in April and Djokovic breezed past Nadal in a straight forward 6-3 6-3 victory.

In what’s set to be a thrilling match, Djokovic will be hoping to reverse his record of six defeats against Nadal at the French Open, in a bid to claim the only major he is yet to win, whilst the Spaniard is trying to become the first player in the Open era to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam.