Djokovic and Nadal get a negative data which happened only 4 times

The Serb and the Spaniard will reach the Australian Open 2024 with a negative statistic that has occurred only four times in their careers

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Djokovic and Nadal get a negative data which happened only 4 times
© Ryan Pierse / Staff Getty Images Sport

The 2024 tennis season began with Rafael Nadal's come back on the court, after a year's stop due to the serious injury that occurred at the 2023 edition of the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic also took to the court, at the United Cup, where, however, he was suffered a physical problem with his wrist.

The Spaniard, the Serbian and the Swiss legend Roger Federer, in recent years, have dominated tennis: a truly rare hegemony in the history of sport, during which they have shattered every type of record possible.​ There are not many episodes in which Nadal and Djokovic arrive at the first Slam of the season, the Australian Open in Melbourne, already with a defeat each.

This year it happened with Rafa's defeat against Jordan Thompson, in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International. Which followed the defeat of the Serbian ATP No.1 at United Cup against Alex De Minaur. How many other times had this happened in the past?

Nadal© Chris Hyde / Stringer Getty Images Sport

There are only four overall cases in which Nadal and Djokovic arrive at the Australian Open with a defeat each, before Melbourne.

In the fifteen years of joint presence on the ATP Tour, the data is absolutely incredible. It should be remembered that there were years in which especially Djokovic but also Nadal, opted for the choice of not playing any preparatory tournament and making their debut immediately in the first Slam of the year.

In 2005 in Doha the Spaniard lost to Ljubicic, while Baker defeated Djokovic. In 2009, Nadal lost to Gael Monfils in Doha and Djokovic to Ernests Gulbis in Brisbane, and then in Sydney to Jarkko Nieminen. More recently, in 2015, Nadal lost to Berrer in Doha and Djokovic to Ivo Karlovic also in Doha.

Djokovic and Nadal's physical problems scare fans ahead of the 2024 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic's performance in the United Cup against Alex De Minaur alarmed the Serbian's fans.

A defeat certainly conditioned by a wrist problem, which the ATP No.1 will have to resolve before the Australian Open. Goran Ivanisevic, coach of the Serb, provided details on the wrist injury suffered by Nole to the Serbian site B92, reassuring all Djokovic fans. "I think Alex played very well, intelligently from a tactical point of view.

There is a problem with Novak's wrist, but the most important thing is that he will be ready in 10 or 11 days. We will take a few days of rest and then start training slowly. It is not a big deal. We came here to play a few games and he did.

He played three good games. Maybe yesterday wasn't the case, it wasn't a good match from the point of view of results, but it was certainly good preparation and that's what he needed," explained Ivanisevic.

Novak Djokovic, 2023 Davis Cup© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Nadal, in the three-hour match he lost in the Brisbane quarter-finals against Thompson, suffered a groin problem, to be precise near the hip, where he had already suffered the injury against McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open.

The tennis player Spaniard, in a press conference after the match, provided details on the injury, trying to reassure the fans but underlining that he still did not know the extent of the injury. "I have to see how I wake up tomorrow.

In recent days, when I have spoken, I have always done so with caution because I know that after a year it is difficult for the body to be able to compete in top-level tournaments. You never know how he will react. That's why I have to accept things as they come.

I hope it's nothing serious and I can have the chance to train next week in Melbourne. The truth is, I'm not 100% sure about anything right now. It's in a similar area to last year, but different. I feel it more on a muscular level.

Last year it was the tendon and this one feels more like a tired muscle. The only problem is that it's in a similar area and that makes you a little more worried than normal. The best thing that can happen is that the muscles are very full after the effort of these three days.

It would be ideal, but today we cannot know. If it was just tiredness, it would be a normal process. I didn't come here to win tournaments, I came to try to come back in the most positive way. I hope that the feeling in my leg will be better until Sunday.

That would be great news. If I don't feel well, I'll do some tests and we'll understand. Now it's time to stay calm and wait to see how I wake up," said Rafa. Fans hope that the injury is only related to the tiredness that the 37-year-old inevitably felt after the three hours spent on court at a very intense pace of play, but obviously there is some concern around his condition.

Especially considering that the Spaniard played a very tough battle against Thompson, lasting over three hours of play, in conditions of high humidity and heat, which will certainly have put his body to the test.

Australian Open