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Italian Open 2024

Italian Open quarterfinals to not feature Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic after two decades

Published at :May 14, 2024 at 7:23 AM
Modified at :May 14, 2024 at 7:23 AM
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(Courtesy : X/ @WeAreTennis and @RafaelNadal)

Shashank Tripathi


Much like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic also hasn’t won a title in 2024.

After Rafael Nadal bowed out of the 2024 Italian Open following his loss against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, Novak Djokovic also suffered a surprising third-round loss in the third round in Rome.

Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is playing his final season on the ATP tour and due to fitness concerns and his current form, he’s uncertain to play in the 2024 French Open. He missed the whole 2023 season due to a hip injury and returned to action in January, earlier this year.

However, a returning Nadal was again sidelined after his injury flared in Adelaide. He returned to tennis on his favourite surface at the Barcelona Open, where Alex de Minaur outplayed him in the second round. Similarly, he was eliminated in the fourth round in the Spanish capital, while his campaign ended in the second round in Rome.

Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner spoiled Novak Djokovic’s party at the Australian Open before he was eliminated in the third round at Indian Wells. He reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters but eventually lost against Casper Ruud. After almost a month, the Serb returned to action at the Italian Open and suffered a disappointing loss against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo.

Interestingly, it is the first time since 2004 that the quarterfinals of the Italian Open will not feature Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Moreover, it will also be the first juncture since 2006 where Djokovic will not be a part of the last eight.

Also Read: ‘I want to continue’ – Rafael Nadal insists he will keep playing as long as his body allows him

The rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has been one of the greatest in the sport’s history. The two have faced each other nine times in the Italian Open, with Nadal leading the head-to-head record with six victories. In addition to that, the Spaniard has won ten titles in Rome, compared to Djokovic’s six triumphs in the Italian capital.

They last locked horns against each other in Rome in the 2021 final, and Nadal won the match in three sets. However, as things currently stand, it seems like the end of an ear is in the offing.

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