“80 Times”: Tennis Legend Corrects Novak Djokovic’s Biggest Rivalry Statement With Rafael Nadal

October 13, 2020 6:23 pm

Rafael Nadal recently won his 20th Grand Slam title at the French Open 2020. He defeated the World No.1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the Roland Garros title for a record 13th time.

After the match, the Serbian praised Nadal and called him the ‘King of Clay.’ He termed his rivalry with Nadal as the biggest rivalry in the history of the sport, and even called Nadal his greatest ever rival. But, his statement surely didn’t please the former tennis player Chris Evert.

The 65-year-old American agreed that in men’s tennis, the Rafa-Djoko rivalry could be the greatest but surely not in all of tennis.

“Well, true in men’s tennis, but Martina [Navratilova] and I played 80 times,” wrote Evert on Twitter.

Rivalries are an integral part of any sport and make it even more intense and attractive. Be it the Messi v Cristiano rivalry in Football or Conor vs Khabib rivalry in UFC, it is something that helps the players to improve and become better.
Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other on 56 occasions so far. The Serb leads with 2 victories, as the final Head-to-Head stands at 29-27. It is surely one of the biggest rivalries in not just tennis, but all of sports. However, the world has witnessed an even more competitive rivalry between Evert and Navratilova.

The Evert-Navratilova rivalry: much more intense than the one between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are former World No.1 players. Their dominance was such that between 1975 to 1987, one of the two was always on the top position in rankings.
Head-to-Head, they faced each other on 80 occasions. Navratilova leads 43-37 overall and is also ahead at 36-24 when the two met in the finals. What’s even more astonishing is the fact that between the Australian Open 1981 to the Wimbledon 1985, they won 15 consecutive Grand Slam titles.
While Evert was clearly dominant in the first 6 years of the rivalry (1973-78), Navratilova enjoyed success in the latter stages.
History is surely not just about men’s tennis. History includes everyone and everything. If it’s right to acknowledge the current rivalry between Nadal and Djokovic, it’s equally important to not forget the legacy of 2 players who shared 36 Grand Slam titles between them. History surely matters.


Anshul Singh

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. He is a big fan of Roger Federer and is ready to pay anything to watch him play. Before this, he has worked at the 'DU Express' as a writer and an editor. He is an ardent debater and a MUNer as well who has chaired several conferences all over India.

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