Tennis: Nadal, Djokovic to add another chapter to rivalry
NEW YORK (AFP) - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, set to face each other for the sixth time in a Grand Slam final on Monday at the US Open, will also become the foes with the most Open Era head-to-head meetings.
The culmination of the Flushing Meadows fortnight at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be the 37th career meeting between the rivals, moving past the 36 played by John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl to top the all-time modern rivalries.
"I've played against him a lot of times. Always we played very exciting matches," Nadal said. "When you are involved in these kind of matches, you feel special." Nadal leads the rivalry 21-15 entering their latest showdown on the New York hardcourts, the third trophy matchup in four years between them at the US Open with the Spaniard winning in 2010 to complete a career Grand Slam and Serbia's Djokovic taking the rematch a year later for his first US Open crown.
Adding spice to the latest chapter in the rivalry is that Djokovic remains world number one and will keep that designation regardless of Monday's result while Nadal ranks second but has nine titles and 21 hardcourt wins in a row this year since returning from a seven-month layoff to rest his sore knees.