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Nadal and Djokovic Meet Again, With Gen Z Breakout in Wings

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will play in a quarterfinal at the French Open on Tuesday night, their 59th career meeting and 10th at Roland Garros.


🅶🅾 🅻🅸🆅🅴 ►►𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗮𝗸 𝗗𝗷𝗼𝗸𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗰 𝘃𝘀 𝗥𝗮𝗳𝗮𝗲𝗹 𝗡𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗹


🅻🅸🆅🅴 🆂🆃🆁🅴🅰🅼 ►► 𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗮𝗸 𝗗𝗷𝗼𝗸𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗰 𝘃𝘀 𝗥𝗮𝗳𝗮𝗲𝗹 𝗡𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗹


PARIS — The rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic began in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Sixteen years later, it just might end in the quarterfinals of the French Open.

“We have to be ready that this could be the last time they play in a Grand Slam,” said Mats Wilander, 57, a three-time French Open men’s singles champion. “I think we have to cherish this moment and not get ahead of ourselves.”


No one has prospered by underestimating either player’s resilience or powers of recuperation. But the future seems particularly uncertain in light of Nadal’s chronic foot condition that is now flaring up with alarming regularity and, by his own admission, sapping some of his trademark enthusiasm for the struggle.

Nadal vs. Djokovic has been, undoubtedly, one of the best and closest extended tussles in sports: with ebbs and flows in confidence and dominance in matches across four continents and, unlike with Nadal’s less prolific rivalry with Federer, at all four of the Grand Slam tournaments.


Nadal and Djokovic, both 35 until Nadal’s birthday on Thursday, once shared a closer connection and even a publicist, but whatever their disagreements now on Covid-19 vaccination or tennis politics, they will always be connected as part of the triangle that has defined men’s tennis since the late 2000s, when Djokovic rose to meet the bar set by Nadal and Federer.


But Tuesday’s quarterfinal, which will be played at night at Roland Garros despite Nadal’s lobbying for the day session, comes at an intriguing moment on multiple levels.

2022 French Open men's quarterfinal odds, predictions: Djokovic vs. Nadal picks from proven tennis expert

Men's tennis handicapper Sean Calvert has locked in his Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic picks in the French Open 2022


The 2022 French Open has reached the quarterfinal round, and on Tuesday the tournament features arguably the greatest quarterfinal matchup of all-time: a blockbuster collision between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The match is the first in tennis history between two players with at least 20 grand slam titles. Nadal has a record 21 grand slam victories, one more than Djokovic and Roger Federer. The winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz.


For Tuesday, Djokovic is a -230 favorite (risk $230 to win $100) in the latest Djokovic vs. Nadal odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while Nadal is a +175 underdog. The over-under for total games is 36.5. The match will not begin before 2:45 p.m. ET. Before making any 2022 French Open picks, be sure to see the latest tennis predictions from SportsLine's Sean Calvert.


Calvert is the handicapper who called Stan Wawrinka winning the 2014 Australian Open at 60-1. In the Miami Open in 2018, he did even better, correctly calling 100-1 long shot John Isner to win the title. And in 2019, Calvert took down a huge score on Dominic Thiem winning Indian Wells at 80-1. Anyone following his picks is way up.


Now, Calvert has locked in on the 2022 French Open men's quarterfinal matchup featuring Djokovic vs. Nadal and revealed his best bets. Head to SportsLine to see them.


Top Djokovic vs. Nadal predictions

The top seed in the tournament, Djokovic has been dominant on the clay in his last two tournaments. Across his last nine matches in Rome and Paris, Djokovic has not even given up a set. Through four matches at Roland Garros, he has given up more than three games in a set only once: in the second round against Alex Molcan, who extended Djokovic to a third set tiebreaker.


Djokovic enters Tuesday's match with the edge in serving, on paper. So far in this tournament, the 35-year-old Serbian has hit 31 aces, has landed 71 percent of his first serves in and has converted 77 percent of points behind his first serve. By contrast, Nadal has just seven aces, has landed 65 percent of his first serves in and has converted 73 percent of points behind his first serve.


However Nadal has owned the all-time series between the two rivals on clay. The Spaniard, who's No. 5 in the world, has won 18 of the 26 completed matches on the clay, including six of eight at Roland Garros. On other surfaces, Djokovic leads 22-10.

French Open order of play: Day 10 schedule including Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal


Fireworks are in store at the French Open as Rafael Nadal faces Novak Djokovic in the night session on Tuesday.

Four quarter-finals will take place on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez opening the day’s play against unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan, who has form in Paris after reaching this stage of the tournament two years ago.


Another record for Nadal and Djokovic – the new most decorated match of all time is imminent

The number bods have done the calculations – what a prospect is in store tonight…and it’s only a quarter-final


The Roland-Garros quarter-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be the most decorated of all time when it comes to major titles.

The stats whizzes at Jeu, Set et Maths have run the numbers – and this pair will be extending their own record when they take to the court in Paris this evening.


The pair have an incredible 41 Grand Slam titles between them – 21 for the Spaniard, 20 for the world No 1.

Prior to today, the most Slam titles on court at any one time has been 38, which has happened three times – when Nadal (18) played Roger Federer (20) at Wimbledon in 2019, then twice last year when Nadal (then with 20) and Djokovic (then with 18) faced each other, in Rome and then at Roland-Garros.


Leaving aside the Big Three, the most Slams on court in a men’s match was in the 2002 US Open final, when Pete Sampras (13) faced Andre Agassi (7).

In the women’s game, the famous rivalry between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova is the most decorated. With 17 Slam titles for Navratilova and 18 for Evert, they had 35 major crowns on court in their six encounters after the former’s 1987 US Open triumph.


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