Preview: Djokovic v Nadal by numbers

 - Reem Abulleil

A deep dive into their RG2022 journeys so far as well as their record-breaking rivalry

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2021, semi-final© Philippe Montigny/FFT

In the most-contested men's rivalry in tennis history, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will square off for a 59th time when they take to Court Philippe-Chatrier for their quarter-final on Tuesday.

Here's a look at some of the numbers that stand out from their Roland-Garros 2022 campaigns so far, as well as the stats that define this iconic match-up.

The serve

Through four rounds this fortnight in Paris, Djokovic has put up some strong numbers on serve.

The world No.1 fired 31 aces so far, has landed 71% of his first serves in, and has a 77% success rate on points behind his first serve.

He has held serve in 49 out of 52 service games, saving 14/17 break points along the way.

Nadal's serve figures have been inferior in comparison this tournament (seven aces, 65% first serves in, 73% first-serve points won, 52 holds from 61 service games), but the Spanish fifth seed has a higher success rate on points behind his second serve, with 63% to Djokovic's 56%.

Novak Djokovic, 2e tour, Roland-Garros 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

The return

Both Djokovic and Nadal have won 41% of their first-serve return points en route to the quarter-finals.

Djokovic has been more punishing when returning his opponents' second serve, winning 63% of those points compared to Nadal 58%.

Djokovic has claimed 23 breaks of serve from 48 break point opportunities while Nadal has broken serve 26 times from 57 break chances.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022, fourth round© Loïc Wacziak/FFT

Time on court

Djokovic hasn't lost a set on his way to the last eight and dropped more than three games per set just once, against Alex Molcan, who stretched the top seed to a tiebreak in the third set of their second-round encounter.

In total, the defending champion has spent just 8hr 13min on court through four rounds.

Nadal had an efficient opening three matches, cruising in straights, before dropping two sets to Auger-Aliassime in a tight four-hour, 21-minute fourth-round clash on Sunday.

The Spanish 21-time Grand Slam winner has spent 10hr 43min on court en route to the quarter-finals.

Net play

Both players have spent a fair amount of time up at the net so far, with Djokovic engaging in 103 net points and winning 80 of them (78% success rate).

Nadal has won 75 out of 106 net points (71%).

Novak djokovic, Roland Garros 2022, fourth round© Julien Crosnier/FFT


The average ranking of Nadal's opponents this Roland-Garros is 64.75 through four rounds, with world No.139 Corentin Moutet being the lowest-ranked rival he has faced so far.

The average ranking of Djokovic's opponents is 87, with world No.195 Aljaz Bedene being his lowest-ranked victim so far.

Corentin Moutet & Rafael Nadal / Deuxième tour Roland-Garros 2022©Julien Crosnier / FFT

A long history at RG

Tuesday will be the 10th time Nadal and Djokovic will have faced off on Paris' terre battue.

While Djokovic has a 30-28 head-to-head advantage against Nadal across all surfaces, Nadal is 19-8 against the Serb on clay, and 7-2 against him at Roland-Garros.

Thanks to his victory over Nadal in last year's semi-finals, Djokovic is the only player to have defeated the Mallorcan more than once at the Parisian Slam.

Djokovic and Nadal's first tour-level meeting came back in 2006 at Roland-Garros and they are still each other's greatest rival 16 years later.

A rare quarter-final showdown

Given that they've spent most of their rivalry ranked inside the top four, most of their previous meetings took place in finals or semi-finals.

Tuesday will be just the sixth time, from 59 encounters, that Djokovic and Nadal will face off in a quarter-final stage.

Djokovic's two sole victories over the 13-time Roland-Garros champion in Paris have come before the finals.

Djokovic Nadal Roland-Garros ©Philippe Montigny / FFT

First meeting between two 20+ major champs

When Nadal lost to Djokovic in the Roland-Garros semis 12 months ago, the Spaniard owned 20 Grand Slam titles and Djokovic was still at 18.

Since then, Djokovic added two more major trophies to his tally (at Roland Garros and Wimbledon 2021) to rise to 20 and Nadal added a record 21st crown to his impressive resume by triumphing at the Australian Open earlier this season.

Tuesday will witness the first time two men with 20 or more Grand Slams won by each will square off in a match.

Rafael Nadal  Australian Open 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT