Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal extend the most prolific rivalry in men’s tennis in Sunday’s French Open final, live on NBC Sports, with more history at stake than ever.
Djokovic, the top seed, is 37-1 in 2020, the outlier when he was defaulted from the U.S. Open for striking a ball in anger after a losing point that inadvertently hit a linesperson in the throat.
The 33-year-old Serb is at 17 Grand Slam singles titles, three shy of Roger Federer‘s male record and two behind Nadal.
Nadal, 34, goes for a record-extending 13th French Open title and to tie Federer in Slams for the first time since each had zero titles.
WATCH LIVE: French Open men’s final, 9 a.m. ET — STREAM LINK
Djokovic and Nadal play for the 56th time (more meetings than Super Bowls), already the most matchups between two male players in the Open Era. Djokovic leads the series 29-26.
It’s their ninth time playing in a Grand Slam final, having evenly split the previous eight. Djokovic won three of their last four matches overall, but Nadal took the last three on clay dating to 2017.
At Roland Garros this year, Nadal hasn’t dropped a set. And while Djokovic appeared to have a shoulder or neck injury in the quarterfinals, then was pushed to five sets in the semifinals, Nadal believed that his level from the first six rounds won’t be enough on Sunday.
“I know I have to make a step forward,” Nadal said after sweeping Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the semifinals on Friday. “I think I did one today. But for Sunday is not enough. I need to make another one.”
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!