A look back at Djokovic-Nadal rivalry ahead of ninth slam final at French Open

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will contest their ninth grand slam final at the French Open on Sunday.

The duo have split their previous eight major finals, winning four each. Should Nadal win a 13th Paris title he will draw level with Roger Federer on 20 grand slam crowns, while Djokovic will edge closer to his great rivals on 18 if he triumphs.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at their final showdowns.

2010 US Open

Nadal went into their first major final on the back of a three-match losing streak against Djokovic. But he defeated the Serbian 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 to win his first US Open title and become the seventh man to complete the career grand slam.

2011 Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2011
Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2011

Nadal, by now world number one, had won the title at SW19 in 2008 and 2010. But Djokovic dominated the opening two sets and although the top seed hit back in the third, he was beaten 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. It was a third grand slam title for Djokovic, who became the new world number one.

2011 US Open

Djokovic claimed his third grand slam title of the year, and his first in New York, when he defeated the defending champion 6-2 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-1. The 24-year-old became the sixth man in the Open era to win three majors in the same season.

2012 Australian Open

The longest ever grand slam final was played out over a pulsating five hours and 53 minutes in the Rod Laver Arena and was won by Djokovic, who extended his winning streak over Nadal to seven straight matches with a 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5 victory.

2012 French Open

Djokovic was appearing in the final at Roland Garros for the first time and was looking to become the first man since Rod Laver, in 1969, to hold all four grand slam titles. But in a match played over two days due to several rain delays, the king of clay prevailed 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 for a seventh win in Paris.

2013 US Open

Muchas gracias a todos desde Central Park! :)Thank you from Central Park! 🙂 pic.twitter.com/UJQ0gOPkhL

— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 10, 2013

An enduring rivalry continued with their third Flushing Meadows final in four years and Nadal took the honours with Djokovic’s unforced error count of 53 costing him dear. Nadal was congratulated by Queen Sofia of Spain in the locker room after his 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 success.

2014 French Open

Djokovic, hunting for the only major trophy to elude him thus far, took the first set but the Spaniard hit back to win 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 and become the first player in history to win nine titles at an individual slam. He also drew level with Pete Sampras on 14 majors.

2019 Australian Open

In their first meeting in a major final for five years, Djokovic played what he later described as his best quality of tennis as he steamrollered Nadal 6-3 6-2 6-3 for a record-breaking seventh Aussie triumph and 15th grand slam title.