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Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal Betting Trends & History

Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal Betting Trends & History article feature image
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Adam Pretty/Getty. Pictured: Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic is favored against Rafael Nadal on a clay-court for just the fourth time in the rivalry’s history.

The world No. 1 and 20-time Grand Slam champion has dominated the ATP Tour for over a decade, but no one has given him more trouble than his greatest rival, Nadal.

On clay courts, the 13-time Roland Garros champion has dominated the proceedings, winning 19 matches and losing just eight against Djokovic. The Serbian has a 50% or greater winning percentage against all other players that he has faced three or more times on the surface.

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It may come as little surprise, then, that Djokovic has only been favored against Nadal on clay courts just three times in the past.

All of those matches came in a 14-month span between 2015 and 2016, and Djokovic won each and every one of them.

In fact, not only has Djokovic won every iteration of the rivalry in which he was favored on clay, but he hasn’t dropped a set in those circumstances.

The first match came in Monte Carlo, where Djokovic beat Nadal 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic was a -220 favorite while Nadal was a +180 underdog.

Heading into that match, Djokovic had won four of his last five against Nadal, but only one of those came on clay. Nadal had beaten Djokovic at Roland Garros the year prior.

A couple months later, Djokovic was an even bigger favorite at Roland Garros, where he handed Nadal his second defeat at the event. He once again won with ease, tallying a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 win as a -290 favorite.

When the duo next met on clay it was in Rome in 2016. At that point, Djokovic had won six matches in a row and 10-of-11 in the head-to-head. He was listed as a -333 favorite and delivered another straight set win, though this one was tighter at 7-5, 7-6 (4).

This year, Djokovic comes in as the French Open favorite, and while his odds have shortened as the tournament has gone on, Nadal’s have risen from +360 to +400.

We’ll see if he can pull another classic Nadal miracle, but the history will not be on his side.

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