Men's final preview: the classic rivalry continues
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are indisputably the two best tennis players in the world and, after tonight’s Australian Open final in Rod Laver Arena, they will hold the four cornerstone titles of their sport.
Both laid down incredible markers in the semifinals – Djokovic mercilessly overwhelming 24-year-old Lucas Pouille 6-0 6-2 6-2 in 83 minutes and Nadal ruthlessly outclassing 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 6-4 6-0 in an hour and 46 minutes.
Those one-sided wins contrast with the excruciating five-hour and 53-minute, 2012 classic final at Melbourne Park when Djokovic edged Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5.
That was a heartbreaker for the Spaniard – just adding to his star-crossed history at the Australian Open. With the exception of 2009 when he overcame Roger Federer in a gruelling five-set thriller final that left the great Swiss in tears at the presentation ceremony, the 11-time French Open champion has not been blessed at Melbourne Park.