Who has beaten Rafael Nadal the most?

Rafael Nadal talks to the media
Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic is the player who has beaten Rafael Nadal the most in ATP Tour competition.

The rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal is the most prolific in men’s tennis in the Open Era in terms of matches contested.

As such it is no surprise that Djokovic is the man who has toppled Nadal most often.

Djokovic and Nadal have contested 59 matches, having met at least once every season since 2006.

In the career head-to-head between the two, Djokovic shades the rivalry with 30 wins to Nadal’s 29.

Former pro Alex Corretja believes this rivalry should be considered the greatest of all time.

“I think we should consider this the biggest one, even if you like Federer-Nadal or McEnroe-Borg, Edberg-Becker the most,” Corretja told Eurosport ahead of Nadal and Djokovic’s meeting in the French Open quarter-finals in 2022.

“Djokovic-Nadal, both of them are fighters, they always give 100% and you know that until the match is over they can come back. It’s so difficult to win points.“

Djokovic also holds a 15–13 lead in finals of all levels against Nadal, while the Spaniard leads 11–7 in all matches at the Majors and 5-4 in Grand Slam finals between the two friends and rivals.

Breaking it down further Djokovic leads 2–0 at the Australian Open and 2–1 at Wimbledon while Nadal leads 8–2 at the French Open and 2–1 at the US Open.

As of the 2023 Australian Open, Djokovic is still the only player to have beaten Nadal at all four Grand Slams.

On hard courts Djokovic leads Nadal 20–7, while the Raging Bull has won 20 of the 28 contests they have completed on clay.

Nadal and Djokovic have split their four meetings on grass evenly, although the current world No 1 has won the last two meetings between then icons on the surface.

Djokovic was the last man to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros when he came out on top in their 2021 semi-final meeting.

The Serbian also leads the series at Masters events having won 16 of the 29 meetings between the two players at the flagship events.

Outside of their officially sanctioned meetings, there are six recorded exhibition matches between Nadal and Djokovic which have also been split evenly.

The first ever meeting between the two occured back in 2006 in the quarterfinals of the French Open. On that day the win went to Nadal via a retirement from Djokovic after the king of clay had taken the first two sets.

Nadal and Djokovic are yet to meet in 2023, which means that their long streak of adding to their rivalry annually could be coming to an end.

READ MORE: Facing Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros is still the stiffest task in tennis