How Many Times Rafael Nadal Has Defeated Federer and Djokovic at French Open?

Published 05/20/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Since his debut at the French Open in 2005, Rafael Nadal has established himself as the greatest clay-court player of all time. The 13-time French Open champion holds an astonishing 100-2 win-loss record at his beloved Grand Slam.

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Such has been his dominance, that his arch-rivals, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, have lost in every French Open Final against the Spaniard.

Rafael Nadal – Roger Federer matches at the French Open

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To set the record straight, Nadal has never lost to Federer at the French Open. The duo has played six times, with Nadal dominating the Swiss Maestro on each occasion.

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their mens singles semi-final match during Day thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The first time the duo locked horns at the French Open was in the semifinals of 2005, a match Nadal won in four sets. However, the most intriguing period of their rivalry came during the years from 2006 to 2008, when Nadal-Federer played three consecutive finals against each other at the French Open.

In each of those finals, Nadal defeated Federer. The next encounter happened in the final of the 2011 French Open, which marked Federer’s fifth loss to Nadal in Paris.

The sixth and the last battle took place in the semifinals of the 2019 French Open, a match in which Nadal crushed Federer in a routine straight-sets victory.

Rafael Nadal – Novak Djokovic matches at the French Open

Over the years, Nadal and Djokovic have had some epic battles at the French Open. The duo has played eight matches against each other, with Nadal having a whopping 7-1 advantage.

The 2006 French Open marked the inception of the duo’s rivalry where Nadal defeated Djokovic in the quarterfinals. During the ’07 and ’08 French Open, Nadal pulverized Djokovic in the semifinals en route to the title.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Over the next decade, Nadal played Djokovic twice in the French Open Final (2012, 2014), outlasting the Serbian each time. However, amongst their eight encounters at the French Open, the 2013 semifinal stands out. It was the first time Djokovic stretched Nadal to five sets but lost by the narrowest of margins in the end.

The sole exception occurred at the 2015 French Open, when Djokovic defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals. With the victory, Djokovic became the second man after Robin Soderling to defeat Nadal at the French Open.

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The duo’s last battle at the French Open happened in the final last year, a match in which Nadal brutally crushed Djokovic to lift his 13th title at the iconic – Court Philippe Chatrier.

Enduring Dominance

In conclusion, Nadal has defeated either Djokovic or Federer, on many instances both, en route to 10 of his 13 titles wins at the French Open.

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The ‘King of Clay’ remains the toughest challenge for any player at the French Open, a tournament he regards as the most important one of his career.

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Kshitij Tayal

399 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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