Novak Djokovic sets up Rafael Nadal showdownJanuary 26, 2019
Novak Djokovic booked an Australian Open final date with Rafael Nadal after he ruthlessly dismissed Lucas Pouille in just 83 minutes in Melbourne.
The Serb overpowered his opponent, who was appearing in a firs- ever Grand Slam semi-final, winning 6-0 6-2 6-2 with a near faultless display.
Djokovic and Spaniard Nadal – who have 31 Grand Slams titles between them – will showdown on Sunday for the opening major of the 2019 season.
It will be a first meeting between Djokovic and Nadal at the Australian Open since 2012, when the former won an epic near six-hour final.
Djokovic is looking for an historic seventh Australian Open crown, while Nadal bids for the 18th Grand Slam title of his career.
After making just five unforced errors and hitting 29 winners on the Rod Laver Arena court, the world number one admitted he couldn’t recall a better performance.
“It is definitely one of the best matches I’ve ever had on this court,” said the 14-time Grand Slam winner.
“Everything worked how I imagined it before the match – it was a tough one for Lucas.”
Djokovic admits Sunday’s decider against Nadal will be the hottest ticket in town, though he doubts if the six-hour mark can be breached with the new super tie-breaker introduced for the fifth and final set in Grand Slam tennis for the first time.
“I would definitely want to buy a ticket for that match. We have slightly different rules this year, with super tie-breaks, so I don’t think we’ll go six hours almost,” he added.
“That’s a once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully the outcome can be the same for me.”
Djokovic is 1.80 favourite to win the Australian Open Final, with Nadal priced at 2.00. The Serb is 4.75 to win in four sets.