There are always discussions about the GOAT debate. Who is better? Nadal, Djokovic or Federer? Well, in this article we will cover Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic comparison with given data of their careers to see who is better.

Many people say that Rafa Nadal is just a clay court specialist, whereas Djokovic is an all court specialist? Do you agree with that? Let’s compare performance outside favourite slam Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic:

  • Novak – 4 Wimbledon finals, 3 titles.
  • Nadal – 4 US Open finals, 3 titles.
  • Novak – 4 Roland Garros finals, 1 title.
  • Nadal – 4 Australian Open finals, 1 title.
  • Novak – 2 US Open titles.
  • Nadal – 2 Wimbledon titles.

What about favourite slam?

  • Novak – 6 titles in 6 Australian Open finals.
  • Nadal – 10 titles in 10 Roland Garros finals.

What about favourite surface?

  • Novak – 8 hard court slams.
  • Nadal – 10 clay court slams.

Let’s compare Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic career data.

  • Novak – 22 Masters 1000 titles on hard courts.
  • Nadal – 22 Masters 1000 titles on clay.
  • Novak – 8 Masters 1000 titles on clay.
  • Nadal – 8 Masters 1000 titles on hard courts.
  • Novak 4 slams outside dominant surface in 8 finals.
  • Nadal 6 slams outside dominant surface in 13 finals.
If you argue Novak has 2 slams outside dominant surface while Rafa has 3, then choose any 2 of Rafa : AO+W=3 in 9 finals, W+US=4 in 9 finals, AO+US=4 in 8 finals.

Let’s compare Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic additional data.

  • Novak – 783 career matches won out 946 matches played (82%)
  • Nadal – 862 career matches won out of 1045 matches played (82%)

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic in Grand Slams

  • Novak – 12 slams in 21 finals.
  • Nadal – 16 slams in 23 finals.
  • Novak – 1 Grand Slam missed since 2005
  • Nadal – 6 Grand Slam missed since 2005 (all non-clay)
  • Novak – non-calendar Grand Slam (W 2015, USO 2015, AO 2016, RG 2016)
  • Nadal – 3 consecutive Grand Slams in a year (RG 2010, W 2010, USO 2010)
  • Novak – won Grand Slam on 2 different surfaces in a year
  • Nadal – won Grand Slam on 3 different surfaces in a year

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic in Masters 1000

  • Novak – 30 Masters 1000 in 44 finals
  • Nadal – 30 Masters 1000 in 45 finals
  • Novak – 4 grass court titles including Wimbledon.
  • Nadal – 4 grass court titles including Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic titles on clay courts & hard courts

  • Novak – 51 hard court titles.
  • Nadal – 53 clay court titles.
  • Novak – 13 clay court titles.
  • Nadal – 17 hard court titles.
  • Novak – 5 World Tour Finals titles
  • Nadal – Olympic singles gold medal on hard courts.
  • Novak – 4 year ending ATP World no.1.
  • Rafa – 3 year ending ATP World no. 1 & en route to his 4th.
  • Novak – At least 4 finals in all the 4 Grand Slams.
  • Rafa – At least 4 finals in all the 4 Grand Slams.

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic H2H record

  • Total: 24-26
  • Clay: 15-7
  • Hard: 7-18
  • Grass: 2-1

What these stats suggest regarding? That Rafa is as good a player if not better, outside clay as Novak is outside hard courts. Even on their respective favourite surfaces, Rafa’s stats are better. According to the fact that Nadal was injured in his career more than any BIG FOUR player, his stats are truly amazing. Just imagine if he was not injured. Novak H2H record is a little bit better, but this is not a sufficient argument to prove that Nole is better.

Rafa Nadal vs Novak Djokovic career statistics are very similar in general and on and off their favourite surface, but I think that 16 Grand Slam titles of Nadal and 10 titles and Roland Garros prove that he is the better player.

What are your opinions regarding Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic comparison with given data?

Photo source: The Japan Times

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