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Australian Open 2019 Final: Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic, preview and prediction

Nurein Ahmed
ANALYST
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1.28K   //    25 Jan 2019, 22:40 IST

Djokovic vs Nadal
Djokovic vs Nadal

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Head-to-head: Nadal 25-27 Djokovic

Last meeting: 2018 Wimbledon seminal (Djokovic won 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8)

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, two of the most successful stars in Men’s tennis, will meet for a historic 53rd time on Sunday in the final of 2019 Australian Open. Novak Djokovic is seeking a record-breaking 7th Australian Open crown while Rafael Nadal is attempting to become the first man to win each Grand Slam event at least two times.

Both Djokovic and Nadal breezed through their semifinals with embarrassing ease. Just when it seemed that the Spaniard had made a statement of intent in dispatching the frenetic Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in three easy sets, the World No.1 responded with a domineering victory over Lucas Pouille, which prompted the Frenchman to explain during the post-match press conference that he simply did not have time to put a strategy into the match and he was beaten by the best player in the world. Such was Djokovic’s frightening form as it took him only 83 minutes to book his spot in the final.

Prediction: There are simply no superlatives to do justice on how good Nadal and Djokovic have been throughout their careers. Historically, this match-up has evolved to become one of the greatest if not the greatest rivalry in tennis.

They have played against each other on 52 occasions in the past and one would struggle to pinpoint any of their matches which failed to live up to the billing. Their last meeting at Wimbledon was a classic. Both Djokovic and Nadal hit a staggering 73 winners to just 42 unforced errors and quite honestly, it was one of those matches which either player would have won.

Nadal may have benefited from a less difficult draw this year but that should not have a significant impact in this match. Djokovic has been tested on two occasions but that was more of a blip rather than a drop in performance level.

One may lean slightly towards the Serb despite Nadal’s brilliant form. The Spaniard has not lost a set yet but he will meet his equal on Sunday. People seem to forget so quickly that Novak Djokovic boasts the best winning ratio on hard courts than any other player in tennis history.

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The Serb is almost unbeatable in Melbourne. He had previously outlasted the Spaniard in the epic 2012 Australian Open final.

Novak Djokovic to win in four sets.


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