Nadal, Djokovic rivalry not trendy but enduring

Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:49pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - While Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal may be the most trendy rivalry in men's tennis, the most enduring may be top ranked Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who clashed for the 40th time on Sunday in the final of the Sony Open.

Any final featuring the world's two top ranked players automatically qualifies as significant but Nadal and Djokovic have elevated their clashes to something special.

Despite Sunday's loss, Nadal continues to hold a slight edge, 22-18, in their head-to-head meetings, 20 of the matches having come with a title on the line, including six grand slam finals.

With Djokovic's Miami victory, he and Nadal between them now hold all nine Masters series titles.

"Definitely the biggest rivalry I have in my tennis career," said Djokovic without hesitation. "It's a great challenge always when I play Rafa on any surface, of course, especially on clay.

"That is his most preferred surface, his most dominant there."

Their meetings in recent years have especially been ones to remember, Djokovic said.

"I have had some thrilling matches in last three or four years, and they were decided by few points," he said.   Continued...

Mar 30, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Novak Djokovic (right) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal (left) after winning the men's singles final of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Djokovic won 6-3, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3J8A1