What Records Are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Chasing at French Open 2021?

Published 06/10/2021, 8:28 AM EDT
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

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will face each other in a highly anticipated French Open 2021 semifinal. They will be facing each other for a record 58th time and the winner could then go on to achieve some unique records at Roland Garros.


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Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Novak Djokovic could hold three out of the four Grand Slams


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Djokovic currently is a defending champion at two Grand Slams. He is the reigning Australian Open champion and had won Wimbledon Championships in 2019. Wimbledon didn’t take place in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic hence, Djokovic is the defending champion there. So if the Serbian wins the French Open 2021, he will hold three Grand Slams simultaneously again.

Second most Grand Slam Finals

This is a sure record that either Nadal or Djokovic will take. Roger Federer leads the list with 31 and then Nadal and Djokovic are tied with 28 each. The winner of the French Open 2021 semifinal will advance to his 29th final and will alone be second on the list.

14th French Open title for Rafael Nadal

Nadal will be extending his own record of 13 French Open titles if wins another in 2021. To put into perspective, if Nadal wins a 14th Roland Garros title, it alone will be enough to put Nadal 4th on the list of most Grand Slam titles. That title count will also be equal to Pete Sampras’ overall Grand Slam title count which was once the record for most Grand Slams from 2002 to 2009.

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Rafael Nadal could have the most Grand Slams at French Open 2021

Rafael Nadal of Spain hugs the Musketeers’ Cup as he celebrates victory. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

If Nadal captures the 14th title in Paris, he will also win his 21st Grand Slam title. And will finally go past Federer’s record of 20. Right now both the giants of tennis are tied on 20, but Nadal seems to be in pole position to win the 21st. If Nadal gets the 21st, then Federer won’t be leading the Grand Slam tally list for the first time since 2009.


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Double Grand Slam record for Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic during his quarter final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

This is the ultimate record that awaits Djokovic at French Open 2021. The big 3 of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have the career Grand Slam, but no one has the double career Grand Slam, that is to win every major at least twice. In the past, Djokovic has fallen short in Paris numerous times. And now again if he wins the French Open 2021 he will become the first male player to achieve the double career Grand Slam.


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Bhavishya Mittal

1097 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.