Rafael Nadal could emulate the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams with a win over Novak Djokovic today. The Spaniard takes on his opponent at the famous Roland Garros vebue. If Nadal emerges victorious, it will be his 100th victory on the same ground, a feat only matched by just four others – including Federer and Williams.
Nadal has dominated the French Open, where he is yet to lose a final when he gets there – where he is 12-0 for wins.
It has seen the 34-year-old being made the favourite for the highly-anticipated clash.
The anointed ‘King of Clay’ also had a more easier path to the final, compared to his Serbian counterpart on Sunday.
He defeated Diego Schwartzman on Friday in straight sets to reach his 13th French Open final.
Djokovic, on the other hand, was forced to fight for his spot – grinding a five-set victory out over a resilient Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Belgrade-born star has only ever tasted victory in the French Open once – and Nadal has another milestone in his sights.
Should the World No. 2 win, it will be his 100th victory at Roland Garros.
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That would make him just the fifth player, and second man, to record 100 match-wins at a Grand Slam event – after Chris Evert (101-12 at the US Open), Federer (102-15 at the Australian Open, 101-13 at Wimbledon), Martina Navratilova (120-14 at Wimbledon) and Serena Williams (106-14 at the US Open).
Nadal is also in a class of his own when it comes to wins at Roland Garros – though Djokovic is the one gunning him down.
With 99 wins, the Spaniard reigns supreme but his opponent registered his 74th victory at the ground on Friday after downing Tsitsipas.
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And though Nadal has been made favourite, it is Djokovic who triumphs more often over his rival in Grand Slam finals.
Out of the 26 times they have met in finales, the Serb has edged 15 of them compared to Nadal’s 11 – and he knows he has to be on his best form to stand a chance against his old foe.
“You can’t be in the final of Roland Garros without suffering,” said Nadal.
“I made a couple of mistakes tactically and technically. But, in general terms, I am super happy about the match.
“To win against Diego, you have to work a lot and you have to play well for such a long time. But I found a way.
“Against Novak, I need to play my best. He is one of the toughest opponents possible. But I like to play in this scenario.”
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