It’s the top tennis players of the world battling for the championship at the Sony Open 2014 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami, Florida on Sunday. ATP World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain takes on No.2 Novak Djokovic in the Miami Masters final in what is the 40th career meeting between the two rivals.
The long head-to-head history includes six meetings in 2013 and even that is as close as the Spaniard and Serbian split the series during that year. Overall, Nadal owns a 22-17 edge and is also 14-4 against Djokovic in the last 18 matches.
40 is the record for most matches played between two competitors in the Open Era. In matches during Masters tournaments, they played each other 21 times and 11 came during the championship round. Djokovic leads 10-9 in 19 meetings any tournament final.
The last meeting was a Djokovic victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Final in Great Britain with the Serb winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Nadal’s last win came in a Grand Slam final as he won the 2013 US Open with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 drubbing of Djokovic.
While both have been unquestionably good this year and in this tournament, they have been lucky too: Nadal won via a walkover in the semifinals when Tomas Berdych was forced to withdraw because of gastroenteritis. Similarly, Djokovic advanced to the championship round after Kei Nishikori pulled out because of a groin injury.
The Spaniard beat Lleyton Hewitt, Denis Istomin and Fabio Fognini in the previous rounds while the Serbian advanced with wins over Jeremy Chardy, Florian Mayer, Tommy Robredo and Andy Murray.