Poll: Can Rafael Nadal Upset Novak Djokovic To Win Beijing?
by Tom Gainey | October 10th, 2015, 11:27 am

Rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will renew their rivalry Sunday in Beijing. This week, Djokovic ran his record to 28-0 at the Beijing event where he is a 5-time champion. Through 4 matches, Djokovic has lost a total of 14 games after beating David Ferrer today 62, 63.

Nadal, who won the Beijing title in 2005, played one of his best matches beating Fabio Fognini earlier today. He also leads Djokovic 23-21 in their head-to-head.

Djokovic, though, has won six of their last seven most recently in the French Open quarterfinals this June. And Djokovic also beat Nadal in the 2013 Beijing final.

“I always expect a battle with him,” said Djokovic. “I always prepare myself for the battle, no question about it. He’s the player I played the most against in my life. There are no secrets.
“I know he’s going to try his best tomorrow to win his title, and I will do, too. I think we are both on a very high level; we know how to play these big matches. I’m sure we’re going to go out and play some good tennis for the crowd. The better player will win.”

“I’m happy to be in the final obviously,” said Nadal. “It’s a good result for me, very positive one. And tomorrow is a match to enjoy.

“[This result gives me] a lot of important points for the [Finals] too,” added Nadal. “I don’t say that I am qualified, but with that result I am much closer to being qualified for the World Tour Finals.

“At the same time, the goal for me is try to find a good level at this end of the season. Playing matches is the best practice possible, trying to do things in the matches, to have better feelings, practice the things that I need to do next year. I think today was an important victory. I really played the way that I wanted to play.”

Nadal hasn’t beaten a Top 5 player since the 2014 French Open final when he beat Djokovic.

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41 Comments for Poll: Can Rafael Nadal Upset Novak Djokovic To Win Beijing?

Giles Says:

No, he needs more time. Happy to wait.
Vamos Rafa!

J-Kath Says:

I expect a spirited game from Rafa – may go to 3 sets – but Nole will win.

elina Says:

“Nadal hasn’t beaten a Top 5 player since the 2014 French Open final when he beat Djokovic.”

He’s only had two such matches other than a pair of losses to Novak so no surprise really given his injuries and lack of form since.

Tomorrow will be no different.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Nobodies expecting Rafa to win,im not expecting him to win either,id be happy if he actually kept it close,hopefully he will just go out and play his game and swing away freely with nothing to lose,its just great that hes actually put himself into contention again to even face Novak to be perfectly honest,no expectations about the final….

Giles Says:

There goes elina the Oracle again. Geez!

SnotNosedKid Says:

Forget about Nadal winning, or losing it in 3 or even 2 tight sets. The big test will he if he is be able to hold his serve more than once or twice. Wu Di broke him 4 times earlier in the week. It’s not looking good.

Debasish choudhury Says:

Rafa is building his lost confidence and this process of reaching the final will do alot for him. At present, he is no match for Djokovic and if he can fight as much as he is capable of, it will be agreat gift for all Rafa fans.

chris ford1 Says:

Aside from a servebot taking out Nole sometimes, there are maybe 5 guys that can beat him if they have a great day while Nole only has a good day. I’d add the 5th is just a top player not Stan or in the big 4 or a servebot – but an assemblage of longshots like Kei, Jo Tsonga, Cilic, etc.

Nadal is still in those ranks – on any surface. Same with Muzz and Stan, while Fed seems to have a shot only on fast hardcourts now. (I think his chances at Wimbledon have closed out).

Maybe not back in those 5 or so guys yet, but Nadal is showing signs he may be regrouping from his horrible last 16 months. Solid wins over Sock and Fabio.

I want him back – even if Nole has had the better of him in recent years even before the bad times really hit Rafa.
Because I watch tennis for those great battles, not stats.
It doesn’t get better than a match where Nole meets Federer, Rafa, Delpo…and yes, Andy too or Stan and gets pushed to the limit, even loses. (Congrats Fed, on 2 wins this year – and Andy for Rogers Cup and of course Stan just going for it and not playing the odds but redlining it on Nole and pulling it off.

No, pretty unlikely that Rafa wins in Beijing. Equally unlikely that Nole will think he has this one in the bag against Nadal until match point is over. Too much respect for Rafa for that approach. But Beijing, hopefully, is the start of what I wish to be Nadal’s latest regrouping and comeback.

Just not against Nole too mush, please!!

chris ford1 Says:

Add – neither Nole or Rafa is mush and they need an edit function her@

J-Kath Says:

To co-join Andy and Stan with Delpotro is engaging in what might have been (ChrisFord1) – the assumption is, I think, that if Delpotro was healthy he would have been so much better – but how do you know that?

PS: Andy is currently No. 2 – even though it only lasts if Fed.loses Shanghai or Andy is wiped out early on.


Gypsy Gal Says:

J-Kath exactly,i just think its silly to predict big things for a player,whos still yet to return to the tour,who hasnt made another GS final,or even a Masters title as yet,if i remember rightly before he got injured he was still losing to lesser players,he never was at Andys level career wise or even Stans….

jalep Says:

This match makes me nervous – not having a panic attack. But far from complacent about it. It’s nice that I can take a long nap, set an alarm, and wake up for it — and Paire v Wawrinka.

Never write off Rafa. Well, not until he hangs it up, anyway.

Win or lose, Rafa’s confidence will get a boost from making the final in Beijing. A win though, and watch out…he’ll be flying high. Just think how good a win v Nole will feel if you are Rafa.

Just talked myself out of watching Rafa v Nole.

elina Says:

You guys, Rafa getting a set would be a moral victory for him.

But a win against a guy that has never lost an ATP match there when he has been repeatedly broken on serve?

Possible like being struck by lightning I guess.

I pick Novak 6-3, 6-2.

Humble Rafa Says:

Go ahead and put in me in the trunk already.

I am so afraid, I want to hug Uncle Toni, the best uncle in the whole world.

At least other players bring their wives to intimidate opponents, but Xisca is such a doll.

Gypsy Gal Says:

I think we get the point by now Elina,no need to beat it to the ground….

J-Kath Says:

Gypsy Gal

You reflect my own irritation.

Elena – You have imparted some interesting stats. previously- but, but, but …you did say Rafa would lose to a certain Italian etc. etc.!!! – it didn’t happen.

I haven’t seen any comment that says Rafa will definitely beat Nole – (at this time) – simply that he is returning to form and is very likely to give a reasonably good competitive match.

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know who is going to win tonight but I know that Aussies are 2 : 0 so far against UK teams in RWC, first they took England to the cleaners last week (first time in the history of world cups that host nation didn’t make it through the group phase), this morning it was the turn for the Wales feel the power of the Aussie team (according to reports it was real battle from both sides) next is Scotland, they’ll try to save the day for British island or it will be trifecta for the Aussies:)

Giles Says:

Enough already dear elina. I now know you’re a fake!

J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy – One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that Scotland will not try to save the day for “British island”.

elina Says:

No I didn’t say he would definitively lose. It was just my prediction.

But I did say that he wouldn’t win without much resistance which he didn’t.

Novak beat Ferrer predictably without much resistance.

Nadal rarely wins these days without much resistance. I don’t see a drastic improvement lately as many have claimed except for a few scattered flashes of former brilliance.

I would never suggest that any player retire or write off a player like Nadal from finding his top form again like many wrote off Roger in 2013 (and now look at him contending for slams).

While he is not my favourite player, I do hope Nadal recovers his game for his sake and for the good of tennis but unless he makes some much needed and long overdue changes to his team, I doubt that it will happen by just doing the same thing over and over.

Sorry for irritating anybody but Novak, as he has done all week (and for the last five years) will win tomorrow without much resistance.

Hamza Says:

I agree with the general sentiment; Nadal, even if he takes one set, or say loses in two but pushes both to the tie-breaker, would’ve made considerable progress. Note that he lost to Nole in straights in Monte Carlo and the French Open this year, and they were blow-outs. However, practically speaking, Nadal has been playing about three notches below what’s needed to beat Nole. I mean he’s been losing to Nishikori and the Wawrinka, who are a notch below Federer and Andy, and then comes Nole (who everybody has been losing to). It’s a process and irrespective of the match result today, this has been a very positive week for Nadal. If he starts getting to the semis and finals regularly, sooner or later, he’ll figure out how to win one.

But Nole is playing sublime tennis. I just don’t see him losing to anybody this fall. Props to the guy who has set a new standard of excellence.

Wog Boy Says:


I know, I have few Scotish friends here, I was just teasing:)
I still remember Soccer World cup in Japan/Korea and when BBC reporter walked into Glasgow pub trying to interview people about World Cup and his question was”

Since Scotland didn’t make it for thr the World Cup you are going to cheer England, aren’t you?”

It was freighting silence for the few seconds and the one of those burly Scots who were drinks ng turned to reporter without any face expression and with icy cold voice said:
“We will cheer Englad only when the hell freezes, we cheer any team that plays Englad” and turned to his mates and kept drinking, I felt sorry for reporter, he didn’t know which way is the way out of the pub:)

J-Kath Says:

OK Elina

PS: Can’t resist:
…Novak has not won for the past 5 years “as he has done all week” …….

J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy

Okey doke – but it’s not actually quite as bad as you encountered in the Glasgow pub. But it is as if the 4 nations were independent and fiercely national when it comes to sport – the BBC and nwsps. concentrate heavily on England which doesn’t help…and given the population of the 4 nations e.g. England 60K and the next largest Scotland 5K –it ends up being what it is. You will remember the hatred still applied to poor wee Andy Murray who joked with Tim Henman: “Anyone but England” – doubt Tim will ask him that question again —-yet you’ve got Andy possibly prepared to sacrifice a bit of his personal career to winning the DC cup for GB (mostly single handed) – I noted Rafa said to him do what you want to do and said he managed to win for Spain after the WTF (however, Rafa forgot GB only has Andy, not like Spain). Sleep well.

jalep Says:

Win or lose the Beijing final, looks like it moves Rafa to 5th in the race to London – Berdych goes to 6th, since he (Berdych) lost in round 1. Cilic will bump up a spot taking Anderson’s place at 11th.

Wawrinka winning Tokyo gets him close to Federer.

Paire winning Tokyo gets him to 20th in regular rankings. Hope he continues going deep in Shanghai. Muller is hilarious – on such a hot streak.

Novak’s point total and Race lead is…it’s ridiculous is what it is.

elina Says:

jalep, as of today after Nadal’s win, he is still 6th with 3970 points behind Tomas with 4100.

Nadal would have to somehow win tomorrow to pass Tomas for 5th spot.

Oddsmakers currently have Novak a 10:1 favourite tomorrow which is likely the highest odds he’s ever had against Nadal.

Seems about right to me.

jalep Says:

Are you looking at rankings or race to London, elina?

jalep Says:

Was going by race to London – for Rafa qualifying. Are we looking at the same page? ATP


If he wins Beijing, he’ll slip past Berdych, I think:
Rafa 3715 + 500 = 4215
Berdych 4100 plus what he made for R1, which isn’t much.

But Finalist gets Rafa (in the race to London) 4015…which isn’t enough yet, but quite possible to pass Berdych in Shanghai.

elina Says:

Jalep, Nadal can only count three 500 tournaments because he played Monte Carlo so he loses 45 points from another 500 earlier this year.

Check the main rankings page which currently shows the latest race points updated daily.

Either way Nadal only passes Tomas with a win tomorrow.

jalep Says:

Main rankings page…wasn’t talking about Rafa’s ranking there in my post @ 6:54 pm. Race to London is what I’m hoping he qualifies for, elina. Race page isn’t counting points like the main rankings page.

In the race to London he passes Berdych if he wins Beijing, at least for now. 300 points he has right now for making Beijing final so = 4,015, that’s still going in the right direction.

elina Says:

jalep, yes, the Race to London Race to London page you are looking at is only current to last Monday

The Race to London however is updated daily here…


Nadal’s 300 points in Beijing replace the 45 points he earned in Barcelona.

jalep Says:

“[This result gives me] a lot of important points for the [Finals] too,” added Nadal. “I don’t say that I am qualified, but with that result I am much closer to being qualified for the World Tour Finals.

That’s what the man said about what these points mean to him — he’s thinking he picks up points in the Race to London with this result. either 300 or 500 = pretty good. Goes deep in Shanghai, wins Basel…deep in Paris. His overall ranking will be up there in time for AO – am I really thinking and typing this much about Rafa? that’s unusual ;)

elina Says:

Nadal has a very tough draw in Shanghai – he could have to get past Karlovic, Raonic, Cilic/Wawrinka before Roger in the semis.

I doubt he makes it past the quarters there.

Also Paris is very fast hard court.

jalep Says:

Oh yeah – that page…

Hardly pay attention to that page because I like going straight to seeing the whole list, including Paire and Muller and those who made the QF’s.

Had not even noticed that that page updates. That’s where you got the 3970. ah hahaha

jalep Says:

Have not studied Shanghai main draw. Still mulling over who will qualify for Shanghai – like, Chung, ect… most of the Chinese players are new to me and there are interesting ones.

Karlovic? Raonic? Wawrinka is the only one I see as dangerous as long as Rafa keeps improving. Raonic hasn’t been near his best. The Fedal could happen…that will excite a lot of people.

Still stinging about Agnieszka losing – she was getting close to qualifying for Singapore.

Daniel Says:

Djoko can end this year with positive HxH versus both Fed and Nadal, or at least minimum tie both if he meets Nadal again this year (possibly WTF). He already is tied with Fed and a win tomorrow puts him just 1 shy of tying Rafa as well.

That would be something, and a crowing achievement for his effort this last 5 years.

jalep Says:

Noticed that too, Daniel. Novak is very close to a positive h2h with Fedal.

Wow, what a display from Stan the man…

Has the first break after monster backhands. This might be a slaughter, Stan v Benoit.

danica Says:

In all likelihood, Nole will win. But Rafa surely gained some confidence after beating Fabio who must have been a nightmare this year. Besides, Rafa is Rafa, a fighter, a great competitor. It will not be easy for Nole.

jane Says:

missed tokyo but i guess stan won easily; congrats to him. doubt i’ll be able to stay up for bejing final … so … idemo no1e!!

Gypsy Gal Says:

Nice post from Hamza….

Gypsy Gal Says:

Yeah in case people hadnt noticed there was actually another final going on,or do we only talk about Novak and Rafa on this forum, big congrats to Stan,but i think the star of the week was actually Beniot Paire what a week hes had,Stans tennis is sublime to watch though,and when he has his head screwed on right then hes unstoppable,big congrats to him and Emily….

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