Australian Open Mens final 2019 ; Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will write another chapter in their remarkable rivalry on Sunday, when the duo meet in the final of the 2019 Australian Open.
Djokovic, who is chasing a seventh success in this competition, was rampant in his semi-final against Lucas Pouille on Friday, as he coasted to a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 win over the Frenchman.
A day earlier, Nadal was similarly clinical against rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas, as he won 6-2, 6-4, 6-0. The Spaniard, who is on the hunt for an 18th Grand Slam crown, has yet to drop a set in this tournament.
Here are the viewing details for the climax to the men’s event and a preview of what’s to come from one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.
After his excellent finish to the 2018 season, Djokovic has clearly carried momentum into this year. Ominously for Nadal, the 31-year-old appears to be getting better with every outing in Melbourne.
Against Pouille, there was never any real danger of him letting the match become anything other than a routine win. A 23-minute bagel in the opening set took the wind out of the 24-year-old’s sails and allowed the Serb to thrive.
While the nervy Frenchman did improve, Djokovic always had too much in the tank and appeared to have gears to go through as he saw out the semi with minimal fuss. It means he should be well-rested when it comes to Sunday’s showpiece.
As relayed by Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, both Nadal and Djokovic have been ruthless in dealing with some young pretenders in these high-profile encounters:
Rough stretch for the night session…Nadal trounces Tiafoe….Nishikori retires after 54m against Djokovic…Nadal trounces Tsitisipas…Now Djokovic up 6-0, 4-1 on Pouille#AusOpen
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times said the Serb took the racket out of his opponent’s hands with the standard of play he produced on Friday:
This match, to me, is far more about Novak Djokovic playing amazingly well (22 winners, 3 unforced errors) than Pouille falling short.
But either way, it’s completely uncompetitive–the third such men’s match in a row deep in this #AusOpen.
Waiting for him in Sunday’s final will be Nadal, who has put together an exemplary run to the final.
The Spaniard, 32, has yet to drop a set on his way to the showpiece and dealt with a potentially challenging semi-final against Tsitsipas with relative ease on Thursday. Nadal saw off the best the 20-year-old had to offer before stepping up his level in the final set.
As relayed by the ATP Media Info Twitter account, he’s been dominant in all of his matches so far, which bodes well for him ahead of the final:
Nadal is 6-0 in Grand Slam finals that he enters without dropping a set. He won 3 of those 6 finals in straight sets (2008, 2010, 2017 @RolandGarros).
Nadal is also seeking to join a select group of players who have won all four of the Grand Slam events on two occasions at least, the other two being Roy Emerson and Rod Laver.
The last time the Spaniard triumphed in this event Down Under was 10 years ago, when he beat Roger Federer in an epic five-set encounter. He lost a five-set final to Djokovic in 2012; at five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest Grand Slam final in history.
Based on the ease with which he’s progressed through the rounds in 2019, not to mention the extra day of rest he’s been afforded, the Spaniard must be the narrow favourite to take glory. Djokovic will know what’s required to get the job done on this stage, though.