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Djokovic hails Australian Open win over Nadal as 'truly a ideal match'

28 January 2019

The title, his first in Melbourne since 2016, separated him from the tie he was in with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer, while Djokovic is the first man ever to win three successive slam titles on three different occasions.

With his 15th major title, Djokovic grabbed sole possession of third place on the all-time list, passing Pete Sampras.

What he did to Rafael Nadal in the Rod Laver Arena turned what had been a keen debating point about their relative merits, along with speculation about Roger Federer's longevity, into a confident assertion that Djokovic has moved into another area of excellence.

Beaten in just over two hours, Nadal won barely a third of the match's points, was broken five times and conjured only a single break point in the third set, which the Serb saved. The only time they've met since then away from clay was in the Wimbledon semi-finals a year ago, where Djokovic won a dramatic fifth set as a heavy favourite around the [1.40] mark. "I have my calendar", he said.

The match between Nadal and Tiafoe will not start before at 7:30 pm local time, 2 pm IST and 8:30 am GMT. This was their 53rd meeting - more than any other pair of men in the half-century professional era - and record-equaling 15th at a Grand Slam tournament. It could have been much more straightforward for Osaka, had she converted three Championship points in set two, but ultimately this mattered not, with the Japanese talent bagging us three recommendation wins from her last four matches here in Melbourne.

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"Under the circumstances, maybe this can be the best quality tennis I have played against Rafa in a grand slam final", he said.

More immediately, the reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champion will head to Paris in May bidding to complete his second "Novak Slam", having won all four majors consecutively in 2015-16.

Djokovic rarely placed a ball anywhere but the precise spot he intended, committing just nine errors in the contest.

Djokovic had a 27-25 edge in head-to-head meetings going into this final, although Nadal had the superior record in majors at 9-5.

There's something about the Australian Open for Djokovic.

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But Djokovic left Nadal smirking or gritting his teeth or punching his racket strings, unable to compete at all. I won, also, some great matches.

It was the fourth round that proved to be the biggest scare in Djokovic's bid for a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title.

"At the same time it is true that when he's playing that way, I think I needed something else".

"I only can say one thing: I'm gonna keep fighting hard, keep working hard to be a better player every moment", Nadal said. "I knew I had a good chance if could dictate the play".

The Spaniard, who lost 13 of the first 14 points in the match, never got into his stride against the world No. 1.

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"The positive things that happened these couple of weeks make us very optimistic regarding his future and his level", Moya said of Nadal. Nadal had nearly nothing to offer in response, not via the serve or the forehand, as Djokovic hit lines and corners at will.

Djokovic hails Australian Open win over Nadal as 'truly a ideal match'