Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have created one of the most intense rivalries in the history of tennis. Everyone remembers the historic 2012 Australian Open final, the longest ever. Novak Djokovic won his fifth trophy in a Slam, the third in a row after 2011 Wimbledon and US Open, who definitively crowned the Serbian as the World number 1 bringing him among the legends of this sport.
Djokovic recalls the 2012 Australian Open final
“The finals of the Australian Open in 2012 against Rafa. We played for 5 hours and 53 minutes. It is probably hard to repeat that ever in my career,” Djokovic told Pospisil on the Tennis United podcast by ATP and WTA.
“For me, 5 minutes and 53 seconds is enough against either of you, not 5 hours,” said Pospisil laughingly. The Serbian champion also recalled that the two were so tired that they required the chairs in the presentation.
“It was crazy. You understand it’s finals of slam, it’s the fifth set and you know the end is around the corner so I don’t want to stop now. So you keep pushing yourself mentally. If you lose that sense of what’s happening in the body and then it is something that carries you all the way through.
It’s quite amazing,” Djokovic added. Nole is the player with the most career wins against Nadal. Nadal is also the player with the most career wins against Djokovic. Djokovic is the only player to have defeated Nadal in 4 clay court finals, the only player to defeat Nadal at the French Open in straight sets, and the only player to defeat Nadal in 7 consecutive finals.
Both play a similar style of tennis but have differences that make their matches competitive and unique. Djokovic is the only player to defeat Nadal in three consecutive grand slam finals and the only player to defeat Nadal in all four grand slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open). Conversely, Nadal is the only player to defeat Djokovic in two hard court slam finals (US Open 2010 and 2013).