Australian Open 2019: Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal

Djokovic kisses the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup following his victory against Rafael Nadal. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal, winning the record seventh consecutive Australian Open title. The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion claimed his 15th Grand Slam title, moving him outright third in the race to the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) title, ahead of American Pete Sampras in the all-time list, closing him on Switzerland’s Federer (20) and Nadal (17).

According to The Telegraph, the last time these two met in the Australian Open final, it took Djokovic 5hrs 53mins to inch his way to victory, making it the longest Grand Slam in history.This time he needed only 124 minutes to wrap up a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 rout. It was the first time Nadal had failed to win a set in a major final.

Djokovic has now won 13 of his past 16 meetings with Nadal, who has not beaten the Serb on a hard court since the US Open final in 2013. Djokovic, who had recovered from an elbow injury last year is arguably in his career-best form, says a report by The Age. “Was unbelievable the way that he played, no doubt about that,” Nadal said. “But at the same time is true that physically I was not able. Five months without competing, having that big challenge in front of me, I needed something else. That something else – today, I don’t have it yet, to compete at this super-high level.”

 Novak Djokovic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Rafael Nadal
31 (1987.05.22) Age 32 (1986.06.03)
Belgrade, Serbia Birthplace Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
Monte Carlo, Monaco Residence Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
6’2″ (188 cm) Height 6’1″ (185 cm)
170 lbs (77 kg) Weight 187 lbs (85 kg)
Right-Handed Plays Left-Handed
Two-Handed Backhand Two-Handed
2003 Turned Pro 2001
10/1 YTD Won/Lost 6/1
1 YTD Titles 0
846/176 CAREER W/L 924/190
73 Career Titles 80
$128,804,799 Career Prize Money $104,730,435

This final marked the 53rd time Djokovic has played against Nadal, out of which he has won 28 times. If he can overcome Nadal on the clay in June, he will achieve the “Novak slam” – four consecutive major titles – for the second time in his career. Neither Federer nor Nadal have managed it even once.

In The Age‘s report, tennis great Mats Wilander has declared that Djokovic and Nadal are on the brink of a three-year domination and has predicted one will usurp Roger Federer for most grand slams.

The Daily Mail says that when Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title a year ago, with Rafael Nadal having fallen injured and Novak Djokovic in an existential funk, his leadership of the all-time tally looked secure. But now, with Djokovic up on the top three, Federer’s position is under threat.

 

Compiled by-

Chiya Ahuja, Deeksha Shyam Sundar

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