PARIS: Rafael Nadal set up a mouthwatering French Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic on Sunday with a dramatic victory over Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Here, AFP Sport takes a look at the pair’s previous meetings at Roland Garros ahead of their 10th clash on the Paris clay on Tuesday:
Nadal bt Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 – retired
– The first of Nadal and Djokovic’s 58 career meetings to date came in the last eight 16 years ago. The Spaniard won two tight sets before Djokovic, then a 19-year-old ranked 63rd, retired from the match with a back injury.
Nadal bt Djokovic 7-5, 6-4, 6-2
– Djokovic was confident ahead of his first Grand Slam semi-final but again Nadal would prove to be too strong, going on to win a third straight French Open title. 2008 semi-finals
Nadal bt Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6
– The ‘King of Clay’ came out on top in a semi-final rematch in 2008, although Djokovic, who won his maiden major title at the Australian Open earlier that year, did at least put up a fight in the third set. Nadal once more went on to lift the trophy.
Nadal bt Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
– It was another four years before the two clashed again at Roland Garros, for the first time in the final. A rain-hit match was suspended until Monday with Nadal leading by two sets to one but Djokovic having broken in the fourth set. Nadal was refreshed the following morning, though, and secured his seventh title.
Nadal bt Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7
– One of the greatest matches of all-time came nine years ago. Djokovic battled back from the brink of defeat in the fourth set and led by a break in the decider before touching the net when hitting what would have been a winner.
The momentum swung Nadal’s way and he emerged victorious after more than four-and-a-half hours before seeing off David Ferrer in the final. It was one of only three times Nadal has played a five-set match at the French Open, alongside Sunday’s win over Auger-Aliassime and a 2011 success against John Isner.
Nadal bt Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4
– Nadal battled back from a set down to win a bruising final in 2014. The left-hander took control after a marathon first two sets to clinch a ninth Roland Garros triumph and leave Djokovic still waiting for his first.
Djokovic bt Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1
– Djokovic finally beat an out-of-sorts Nadal in his opponent’s favourite tournament to boost his hopes of completing the career Grand Slam. He would lose to Stan Wawrinka in the final, although he did win the event for the first time the following year after Nadal withdrew through injury.
Nadal bt Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5
– Nadal handed his rival a thrashing in the eagerly-awaited 2020 showpiece, played in October due to the Covid pandemic. It gave him the most recent of his 13 French Open crowns.
Djokovic bt Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2
– The first semi-final between the two since their epic 2013 clash did not disappoint as Djokovic edged a four-set battle.
The key moment came in the third set, as the Serb saved a set point before taking a tie-break. He went on to fight back from two sets down in the final to Stefanos Tsitsipas to become the first man to win each Grand Slam tournament twice or more in the Open era.