Nadal vs Federer vs Djokovic: Which is the Best Tennis Rivalry?

Which tennis rivalry is considered the best?

Tennis fans mull over which is the better rivalry: Nadal vs Djokovic or Federer vs Djokovic. Nonetheless, the third and equally important rivalry is Nadal vs Federer. 

There is mutual respect between the two, and thus, their fans do not consider them as rivals although they are.

1) Nadal vs Djokovic

A rivalry that started in 2006, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have met each other for 54 times with Djokovic prevailing at 28-26. Nonetheless, theirs is considered as an underappreciated tennis rivalry.

Djokovic leads the finals with 15 against Nadal’s 11. However, Nadal is ahead with their Grand Slam matches at 9-6. Nadal also leads the French and US Opens while Djokovic leads the Australian Open and Wimbledon. 

The two played on hard courts (26), clay (24), and grass (4). Djokovic owns the hardcourt while, knowing Nadal as the King of Clay, he prevailed in clay. They are 2-2 on the grass court, though. Djokovic famously said also that “[Nadal] was beatable on clay.”

Some of their most memorable matches are the 2013 French Open and 2018 Wimbledon semifinal games. The latter lasted for five sets played for more than 5 hours.

This rivalry was dubbed as the third greatest men’s tennis rivalry of the 2000s.

2) Federer vs Djokovic

Roger Federer and Djokovic played with one another for 48 matches. Djokovic also leads the rivalry with 26-22. Despite this, this tennis rivalry is also underappreciated compared to the last one.

They met at the Grand Slam about 16 times —10 semifinals and five finals. Djokovic also leads their Grand Slam standings at 10-6. 

The most exciting aspect of this rivalry is that Federer used to be ahead of Djokovic until 2010 with 13-6. Djokovic grabbed the lead from Federer in 2011 with his record 20-9.

Yet another notable aspect of the rivalry is they are the only male tennis players to beat one another in Grand Slam titles. The two holds the record for the most number of Grand Slam tournament meetings.

Federer and Djokovic are the only two players who achieved the Sunshine Triple or those players who won the Australian Open, Miami Masters, and Indian Wells. Djokovic did it thrice while Federer, twice.

Their match results are even regardless of the surface they are playing. 

Although they have faced each other in the majors and other ATP matches, their 2019 Wimbledon’s final match has been the most remarkable. It was the longest match in the history of this major with 4 hours and 57 minutes.

3) Nadal vs Federer

The Nadal-Federer rivalry is one of the most historic rivalries of all time, if not the most historic.

Nadal and Federer played one another for 40 times. Nadal leads with 24-16; he also leads their finals meeting count with 14-10. 

The two have played in 14 major meetings, which Nadal also dominates at 10-4. Nadal leads the French and Australian Opens with 6-0 and 3-1, respectively. Federer owns Wimbledon with 3-1. They haven’t met at the US Open yet.

They played on hard courts (20), clay (16), and grass (4). Federer leads the matches on hard court and grass while Nadal dominated the clay court. 

Their most memorable tennis game was the 2008 Wimbledon final. Nadal and Federer played for 4 hours and 48 minutes.

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Who are you rooting for—Nadal, Federer or Djokovic? Let us know.

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