On Friday, Novak Djokovic continued his quest to claim his seventh crown in the Australian Open after defeating Lucas Pouille to advance to the final where he will face his ultimate rival, Rafael Nadal. The world number 1 provided a flawless display at the Rod Laver Arena who has managed to move into a first decider in Melbourne since 2016.
“It’s without a doubt one of the best matches that I have played on this court,” stated Djokovic, who managed to hit a total of 24 winners and only had five unforced errors. “Everything worked out exactly how I imagined it would prior to the match.
“It’s an upsetting time for Lucas, but thankfully he had a phenomenal tournament, and I sincerely wish him all the best for the remainder of the season,” he added. Novak Djokovic, unfortunately, lost during the fourth round of the tournament in 2018, followed by a poor form and elbow surgery until he managed to win at Wimbledon and turn everything around.
“It was impossible to imagine that I would be where I am today 12 months ago,” stated Djokovic. However, as I stated before, I will continue to have loads of self-belief which I think is something that manages to always prevail.”
The Australian Open Final
Novak Djokovic will now need to face Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. The two world-renowned tennis players have met a total of 53 times on court and eight times during a Grand Slam final. In 2012, they delivered the longest final in the history of Grand Slams when it comes to time played at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic managed to edge a thrilling battle during the fifth set after playing for 5 hours and 53 minutes.
During Djokovic’s 34th semi-final in the Grand Slam, he took a mere 83 minutes to defeat Lucas Pouille who made his debut at the Australian Open this year. Pouille is also Djokovic’s regular practice partner.
The 14-time title winner of the Grand Slam was quite fresh after winning the quarter-final this year as his opponent, Kei Nishikori, was forced to quit after only playing 51 minutes. During the semi-final against Pouille, Djokovic managed to dish out an awful 6-0 bagel during the first set which only took 21 minutes. Pouille managed to hold his first ever service game during the second set which was met with a massive ovation from fans at centre court. However, Djokovic was a picture of precision on both return and serve and didn’t allow Pouille to make a comeback at all.
Djokovic vs. Nadal
Rafael Nadal currently holds an incredible 3-4 loss-win record against Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Grand Slam which includes all three meetings since their marathon at Melbourne Park seven years ago. Both tennis players will be chasing a milestone on Sunday too.
If Nadal wins, he will be the first player to win all Grand Slam titles twice, while a win for Djokovic will provide his 7th title which places him above Emerson and Federer.