WATCH: Epic points between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated the tennis stage and have battled each other on numerous occasions. Their rivalry ‘partnership’ has dominated the courts and will forever be burnt into the fans’ memories as one of the greatest battles in sporting history
The pair have come up with some glorious matches over the years and with the Monte Carlo Masters just days away, we have decided to whet the appetite with some classic Nadal-Djokovic rallies.
The pair have met 59 times in top-level tennis, but incredibly they have only played each other four times in Monte Carlo.
Their first-ever meeting at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo came in the 2009 final, and it was the Spanish great who came out on top with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 victory.
After beating Djokovic in the final, Nadal said: “I always loved this tournament since I was a kid. One of my dreams was play here. It’s a historic tournament [where] you see all your idols when you are a kid playing here.”
He added: “Winning against Novak in [the] final after losing a few ones is important for me. My level of tennis was high during the last four matches.”
Their second meeting at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo came in 2012 with the notorious Nadal securing the victory with a 6-3, 6-1 score over the Serbian hero. This made it the second ATP Masters 1000 final that Djokovic lost to Nadal.
And as you can see in the below video, some of their rallies have been truly remarkable.
They then met again the following year in the final of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, in 2013. A determined Djokovic saw himself overthrow Nadal with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) win over his Spanish rival.
After ending Nadal’s eight-year reign, which stretched 46-matches, Djokovic was naturally delighted.
“The first six, seven or eight games were unbelievable. It’s the best I can play on clay,” the Serbian said. “This trophy could not come in a better moment. It was difficult the last two months. I’ve been through some ups and downs emotionally, physically. But I’m where I want to be.”
Their latest ATP Master 1000 event in Monte Carlo came during the 2015 competition. The rivals met in the semi-finals, and it was Djokovic who came out on top and claimed his second ATP Master 1000 win over Nadal, with a score of 6-3, 6-3.
Unfortunately for their fans, the rivals’ Monte Carlo deadlock will remain at two wins each, after Nadal has had to withdraw from the competition due to an injury in his left leg. It’s a sad loss for the tournament, as Nadal is slowly aging, which could play into him retiring before being able to break the rival’s deadlock.
“Monte Carlo is and has been a key event in my career, but unfortunately, I will have to miss it again since I am still not ready to compete without the risk of getting injured. I will continue the process of getting ready to come back,” the Spaniard said.
Nadal has had one of the most successful performances at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, having won it 11 times, with a record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005-2012.
Djokovic falls short of Nadal in the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, having only won it two times. However, this does not diminish his tennis success as many tennis fans will know what he is capable of.
The competition awaits for its next victor, with many players looking to push for the top spot.
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