There are many records that Rafael Nadal holds: above all, he is the tennis player who has won the most Grand Slam titles, conquering the twenty-first at the Australian Open and bypassing the two rivals of all time, Djokovic and Federer.
Although Nadal's numbers have been and are impressive, one figure that sees him out of the top 3 is about weeks in the standings. The winner of thirteen Roland Garros was number one in the world for 209 weeks, sixth behind other names such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors.
The top of the table, therefore, was less dominated by Rafa Nadal. This, however, gave him an advantage over his opponents: the Spaniard has the most wins against the number one in the world. As Sportskeeda reports, twenty-two victories have come against the players who led the ATP ranking.
In the rest of the ranking are Boris Becker (19 wins) and Novak Djokovic (14 wins). Two mutual acquaintances close the top five of this special classification: Ivan Lendl, with thirteen victories, and his pupil, Andy Murray, with twelve victories.
Nadal's numbers against Djokovic and Federer
In order for him to achieve this record, it was not necessary for Rafa Nadal to win against many tennis players. It was enough, in fact, to win against the other two members of the Big 3: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
The 35-year-old has won thirteen times against the Swiss when he was world number one, while against the Serbian there are nine victories. Of the thirteen victories against Federer, eleven have reached the final: of these eleven, four are Grand Slam finals; the others come from a semifinal (Roland Garros 2005) and a third round (Miami Masters 2004).
Of the nine victories against Djokovic, however, seven have reached the final (three in the Grand Slam) and two in the semifinals (one in the Grand Slam). Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are in Nadal's stats, both for good and for bad.
The former Spanish World No.1 has also lost 19 games against top players: of these, thirteen are against Djokovic and six against Federer. Between wins and losses, 41 matches have been played by the winner of the last Australian Open against the number one in the world.
Only Jimmy Connors has played more games against ranking leaders; while Andy Murray, another former world number one, equals the Spanish tennis player.