Splendid Seven: Djokovic slams Nadal to win Australian Open

Splendid Seven: Djokovic slams Nadal to win Australian Open
Highlights

Novak Djokovic won a record splendid seventh Australian Open title by defeating Rafael Nadal 63, 62, 63 with a display of flawless tennis in just two hours and four minutes on Sunday

Melbourne: Novak Djokovic won a record splendid seventh Australian Open title by defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 with a display of flawless tennis in just two hours and four minutes on Sunday.

Djokovic, who has now won 15 major titles told, “A year ago, I had surgery on my elbow, now to be standing here having won three of four Grand Slam titles is amazing. I’m speechless. A trophy like this is more special when you have someone so close in your life to share it with — my family, my wife Jelena, son Stefan and daughter Tara. They have sacrificed a lot for me to live my dream. I hope not to ever take that for granted.”

He became the first man in history to hit 34 winners that saw him claim a record seventh Australian Open title. The winner-ripping, chest-thumping 31-year-old put on a spectacular show on Sunday night at the packed-to-the-rafters Rod Laver Arena.

The world No. 1, who took home $4,100,000 and 2000 points for the victory, had warm words for the Spaniard, who crossed the net to congratulate his opponent. “You came back from injury and since September you hadn’t played until here, you’ve defined fighting spirit and resilience,” he said.

Bio-Career Statistics Novak Djokovic

Born: May 22, 1987

Place: Belgrade

Age: 31

Grand Slams Titles: 15

Australian Open: 7 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019)

French Open: 1(2016)

Wimbledon: 4

( 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018)

US Open: 3 (2011, 2015, 2018)

ATP Final Titles: 5

This was the duo’s 53 meeting, no two men have met more often in the Open Era. The Serb sank to the court, letting out a loud shout that echoed across the stadium, before raising his hands in triumph as one section of the crowd sat shocked while the other was on its feet, celebrating a great performance.

Nadal, who was off the pace right from the start in what was his first tournament in five months told, “Today, I had somebody who played much better than me. Even if this night was not for me, it was important to be here, coming back from injury. I will keep fighting, keep working for the most important titles. Sometimes in these tough moments, I have been injured, sometimes it is the opponent who is better.”

Djokovic was a blast in his opening essay, while Nadal flaunting a tee of the colour of Tang, the fruit-flavoured favourite of the '70s, the cut-off sleeves lending to the retro blend stumbled in his first service game. The remodelled serve, broken only twice so far in the tournament, was busted at 15 when a Nadal forehand landed long. On the other hand, the Serb was cutting like a knife. The Spaniard failed to win a point on Djokovic’s first two service games. It wasn’t until the fourth game that Nadal got on the scoreboard and that after fighting off a break point.

Nadal, showed signs of a fightback when he held to love in the eighth game. He then won his first point of the set on his opponent’s serve. Though Nadal got more play in the second set, it wasn’t quite enough to make a match of it. Mistimed shots, inconsistency, doubts and a net cord gave the Serb an early break in the fifth game. He egged on by his fans and then had a hint of a chance in the next game, but the Serb shut him out, fists clenched and eyes blazing. He broke again and then served out at love.

As dominant as Djokovic was in the first two sets, only four unforced errors against his opponent’s count of 20, Nadal was all over the place — slow, soft, and uncertain. Down 15-40 in the third game of the third set, Nadal staged a counter to save the first break point, but a delicate drop shot forced the error, putting the Serb ahead in the contest.

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