Between Roland Garros 2006 and the inaugural ATP Cup that took place this January, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have played 55 times against each other, with the Serb leading 29-26 after winning ten of the last 13 encounters versus the Spaniard.
Picking their schedule wisely, both Roger and Rafa were always keen to bring their best tennis when it mattered the most, giving their 100% at Majors and the Masters 1000 events to dominate the world's tennis in the last 15 years together with Roger Federer.
Outside that main structure and calendar, there weren't many weeks with two great rivals competing at different tournaments, reaching the final in those cases only four times so far, including the current week. Back in 2010, Nadal defeated Djokovic in the final of the US Open, with both players returning to action at the beginning of October, with Novak playing in Beijing and Rafa in Tokyo.
World's leading players went all the way to claim titles in the same week for the first time, with Djokovic dominating over the rest of the field in China and Nadal who prevailed in the semi-final against Viktor Troicki in Japan, ousting Gael Monfils in the title match for only the third ATP title in the post-US Open period.
Three years later, Djokovic and Nadal took separate ways in the closing days of February, competing in Dubai and Acapulco on different surfaces but with the same efficiency to repeat what they did in October 2010. In the last couple of years, Novak was the player to beat in Dubai, claiming the fourth title after beating Tomas Berdych in the final.
In the other part of the world, Nadal ruled the court on clay in Acapulco, dispatching David Ferrer in the final in just over 60 minutes and follow Novak's result to lift the trophy. In 2015, we had a similar situation, with some small variations.
Djokovic played for the title in Dubai again, losing to Roger Federer in straight sets while Nadal stood above all the rivals in Buenos Aires, facing four opponents outside the top-55 to claim the crown and secure the 65th ATP title, moving ahead of Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg who stayed on 64.
Five years later, Rafa and Novak are still the leaders of the pack, creating a massive gap over Roger Federer and other rivals and reaching finals at different events in the same week for the fourth time in their careers.
As usual, Novak is in Dubai where he had to dig deep against Gael Monfils on Friday, saving three match points to go through in three sets, setting the clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. On the other hand, Nadal is seeking the third Acapulco crown and the first on hard court, beating four rivals in straight sets and facing the young American Taylor Fritz in the quest for the first ATP title since the US Open in September.