Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic

Player DNA: Djokovic v Nadal final match-up

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The final day of Australian Open 2019 will see two all-time greats going head-to-head for the men's singles title.

On Saturday evening, six-time champion and world No.1 Novak Djokovic takes on 2009 winner and 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal with history on the line once again.

Game Insight Group in partnership with Infosys have run the numbers from their opening six matches.

Djokovic v Nadal

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27 Jan 19
The Australian Open 2019 Men's Final champion will be crowned on Day 14.

Djokovic. Nadal. This is it.

Video

HISTORICAL

 
Nadal
Career stats
Djokovic
61:12 (84%)
AO record (wins:losses)
67:8 (89%)
119:23 (84%)
Grand Slam hardcourt record
136:18 (88%)
25
Head-to-head
27
7
Head-to-head on hardcourt
18
2       
Head-to-head on hardcourt at Grand Slam level
​2
  • It’s been 64 months and seven straight defeats since Nadal beat Djokovic on a hard court.
  • Nadal has also won 11 Slams since his one and only victory in Melbourne. Can he break the 10-year drought in Melbourne?
 

ROAD TO THE FINAL IN 2019

 
Nadal
Road to the final (AO19)
Djokovic
83%
Third shot forehand percentage
61%
70%
Percentage of points 0-4 shots
63%
​3.73 Shots
Average rally length
4.69 Shots
12hrs 11mins
Time on court
11hrs 59mins
13,715 KJ
Total work
​16,833 KJ
  • ​Nadal has been very aggressive throughout AO19. His much publicised serve is faster (see below compared to 2012) and hitting more spots.
  • On his favourite wide first serve to the ad court, he’s hit to within 50cm of the sideline 27% of the time versus only 15% in 2018.
  • On the deuce court, his wide serve is also more precise (hugging the line 16% of the time vs 12% in 2018).
  • The combination of improved serve speed and accuracy has helped him find his forehand 83% of the time with his next shot after the servesubstantially higher than in previous years (up 9% on 2012).
  • Djokovic’s points have lasted one shot longer on average (4.69 shots v 3.73 shots) than Nadal's on the way to the final. The length of Nadal’s points at AO 2019 have been in line with Federer’s at AO 2017.
  • Both players road to the final has been relatively straightforward, with only 12 minutes of court time separating the pair. However, Djokovic has had to work harder, expending 3,118 KJ more energy throughout the event. Cumulative fatigue won’t be a factor though.
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25 Jan 19
Rafael Nadal press conference (SF)

Rafael Nadal press conference

Video

2012 v 2019

Nadal
AO12 final vs AO19
Djokovic
​2012
​2019
​Year
​2012
​2019
138kmh
​156kmh
Ave 2nd serve speed
153kmh
​164kmh
130cm behind baseline
130cm behind baseline
Rally Impact Position
60cm behind baseline
120cm behind baseline
​74%
​83%
Third shot forehand %
63%
​61%​
  • ​​A comparison of second serve speeds from their 2012 final to the 2019 event shows that a lot may have changed! Nadal’s second delivery is up by 18kmh, and Djokovic has also added more spice tohis serve (11 kmh faster than in 2012). Will this pattern continue or will the pressure of the final see the players revert to type?
  • Nadal’s court position in AO19 is the same as it was during the 2012 classic. Djokovic, on the other hand, has given up ground, playing on average 60cm further back in the court. Will he step it up again on Sunday night?