Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, Australian Open 2019 men's singles Final highlights: Serb wins record seventh title

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Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, Australian Open 2019 men's singles Final highlights: Serb wins record seventh title
  • 16:57 (IST)

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  • 16:53 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic speaks

    I would like to return the favour and obviously give my compliments to Rafael Nadal. It was a tough match tonight, but you came back from an injury that took you out for so long. You have been unfortunate to suffer injuries, but you are showing me and so many young stars what the definition of fighting spirit and resilience is.

    I’m trying to contemplate the journey I’ve had over the last twelve months. Like Rafael Nadal, I’ve also gone through an injury and been out of the game for a long time. I underwent surgery exactly twelve months ago, and it’s incredible that I’ve managed to come back and win three out of the four slams.

    Thank you to my team for everything they have done and supported me. It’s an individual sport, but you guys have been instrumental in putting together a great formula that has worked.

    I would like to say hello to my wife and family, my son Stefan and my daughter Tara. I hope they have been watching. Well, at least before the match they said they would.

    Trophies are more special when I have someone so dear to me that I can share it with. They have sacrificed a lot of their time for me to live my dream and to be standing here on this podium today. I want to thank them for their unconditional love and support.

    As Rafa said, this tournament really is one of the best in the world. You guys are doing an amazing job and making us feel like we’re at home. There’s a great vibe to the city in the summer which we can feel in every corner of the city, and it’s a huge honour to play in front of you.

    Last, but not least, thank you to the fans. You’ve been coming in great numbers since Day 1. I can’t wait to come back here next year.

  • 16:48 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic wins the 2019 Australian Open

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic gets his hands on the prize!

  • 16:41 (IST)

    The 2019 Australian Open runner-up speaks

    Congratulations to Novak and his team for the win. It's been an emotional two weeks for me even if tonight wasn't my night. I have been going through tough points in the last year. After the US Open last night, I wasn't able to play a match until the first round at the Australian Open. Even if tonight wasn't my night, this (the runners-up) trophy means a lot for me. I am going to keep fighting hard for the most important things for me. I want to thank all my team and all the fans and I hope to see you next year.

  • 16:31 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic wins the 2019 Australian Open

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic wins the 2019 Australian Open

  • 16:25 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic wins the 2019 Australian Open

    With this title, Djokovic has the record for the most Australian Open title with seven. That also is his 15th Grand Slam title moving him to third overall ahead of Pete Sampras. He has just two Majors less than Nadal and five behind Roger Federer. 

  • 16:23 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Novak Djokovic wins the 2019 Australian Open 

    Djokovic gets two championship points. Nadal takes an age to serve after the crowd take some time to stop their cheering. Nadal saves one championship point but gets his seventh Australian Open title on the next point. He hugs Nadal and sinks to his knees and lets out a roar. This has been next level tennis from the Serb World No 1. This is also the first time that Nadal has not won a set in a Grand Slam final.

  • 16:17 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 5-3*

    At 40-30, Nadal shows glimpses of his class by hitting some powerful shots to win the point. Djokovic responds with a big sliding serve which Nadal returns wide. He gets the hold with a net chord going his way. Even luck has seemingly deserted the Spaniard in this match.

  • 16:09 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *4-3

    Nadal holds to 15. He needs to break Djokovic in the next game to even make a contest of this match. 

  • 16:05 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 4-2*

    This is just frustrating from Nadal. He defends so well on that point only to lose it by netting his drop shot. Djokovic hands Nadal a lifeline by committing a couple of unforced errors which bring up a breakpoint for the Spaniard. Rafa says 'No, thank you' and promptly squanders it. Djokovic,hurt by the rejection, powers through the next two points to bring up his hold.

  • 15:58 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *3-2

    Nadal drops just one point in the game as he holds to 15. 

  • 15:57 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-1*

    Mood right now in the Nadal camp.

  • 15:56 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-1*

    I bet he doesn't want to see his stats at the end of this match. 

  • 15:55 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-1*

    Nadal wins the first point with a deep forehand winner. Djokovic responds with a forehand winner of his own. Djokovic gets the hold with a pair of powerful winners.

  • 15:51 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *2-1

    As they say, there is a first time for everything.

  • 15:50 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *2-1

    Djokovic responds to Nadal's body serve with an outrageous backhand winner. That packed quite a punch. A double fault and a forehand error from Nadal brings up two breakpoints for Djokovic. He saves one but he nets his forehand from a yard out to give Djokovic the break. An already difficult task has just become tougher for the World No 2.

  • 15:46 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 1-1*

    An easy love-hold from Djokovic. All from Nadal unforced errors.

  • 15:44 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *0-1

    That is just amazing from Djokovic!

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, *0-1

    Just when Nadal plays a good shot, Djokovic pulls an even better shot out of his bag. Nadal scampers to the net to play a controlled drop shot. Djokovic hits back with a ridiculous crosscourt flick. Nadal gets to 40-30 after hitting a forehand volleyed winner. He gets the hold after Djokovic nets his return on the next point. 

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 0-0*

    The numbers don't paint a pretty picture for Nadal. 

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 6-2. Novak Djokovic clinches the second set.

    A forehand winner and two aces bring up three setpoints for Djokovic. He clinches with another ace. Normally that would get a rousing response from the crowd but their reaction has been as subdued as Nadal's performance today. 

  • 15:29 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *5-2

    Nadal hits a gorgeous drop shot that elicits a thumbs up from Djokovic. In what has been typical from the Spaniard in the match, he follows it up with a double fault. A 14-shot rally is won by Djokovic with a magnificent forehand winner. He brings up a double breakpoint with another powerful forehand winner and gets the break after Nadal nets his backhand. Djokovic is running away with the match and towards his seventh title in Melbourne.

  • 15:25 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 4-2*

    Safe to say that they are pleased with the proceedings so far.

  • 15:25 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 4-2*

    For the first time in the match, Nadal wins three points in a singe Djokovic service game thanks in part to a couple of Djokovic's errors. Djokovic gets a gamepoint but Nadal whips in a 154km/hr forehand winner to get to deuce. Now that's what we have missed in this final so far. The crowd lets out it's loudest cheer then and Nadal himself is all hyped up. On the next point, Nadal hits his backhand wide and nets his backhand on the next point to give Djokovic the hold. That was much better from Nadal.

  • 15:17 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *3-2

    Nadal fans all over the world right now.

  • 15:16 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *3-2

    The unforced error count from Nadal keeps on rising. He commits three in the game and that is three too much. Djokovic breaks as the clock hits the one-hour mark.

  • 15:12 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 2-2*

    Nadal wins only his second point on Djokovic's serve and nearly gets another only to land his forehand out. That should have been an easy winner. Djokovic gets an easy hold again.

  • 15:09 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *1-2

    When Nadal nets an easy volley...

  • 15:07 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *1-2

    Nadal provides a snapshot of the match so far on the third point of the game. He runs Djokovic around the court with the Serb extending every sinew of his body to return. Nadal comes to the net for an easy putaway but instead nets hit from a yard out. The Spaniard gets to 40-30 with a pair of powerful forehand winners before getting the hold with a big serve.

  • 15:03 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 1-1*

    This is just incredible from Djokovic. He has dropped just one *point* on his serve in the match. He gets another love-hold.

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, *0-1

    Djokovic wins two points off a Nadal forehand error and winner of his own. But Nadal rattles of three winners of his own to get the hold.

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 0-0*

  • 14:55 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3, 0-0*

    11 unforced errors from Nadal to three from Djokovic. That number needs to come down in the second set for Rafa. 

  • 14:53 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 6-3. Novak Djokovic wins the first set.

    Nadal looks a bit rusty. While he has been finding the angles, his execution of shots has been a letdown. We get an example of that at 0-15 when he hits his forehand just wide of the line. Had that gone in, he would have been 0-30 up. Instead, Djokovic finds his way back into the game, including winning an incredible 21-shot rally to win the first set.

  • 14:50 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal *5-3

    Nadal has served better with new balls than old balls so far in the tournament and that is evident in this game as he claims his first love-hold of the match.

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 5-2*

    Oops!

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 5-2*

    How did he miss that?! Nadal plays an exquisite drop shot which Djokovic just about manages to return. Nadal jumps to hit a backhand smash but he nets it to his and coach Carlos Moya's frustration. At 30-0, Nadal hits an air shot. Well that's not something you see every day. Djokovic closes out the hold to love with a clean backhand winner.

  • 14:41 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal *4-2

    Nadal is slowing finding his rhythm. After losing the first point, he wins the next points with a service winner. Another big serve sets up a forehand winner and he almost gets to 40-15 but for Djokovic's successful challenge on an ace. At 30-30, Nadal skids to the net to get to a net chord. Djokovic then lobs the ball forcing Nadal to sprint back again. He fires in a backhand which Djokovic can only net. Rafa manages to hold.

  • 14:35 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 4-1*

    Not the start he wanted.

  • 14:35 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 4-1*

    A 193 km/hr ace gets Djokovic started in the game. Another ace gets him to 40-0 and he secures his hold without any fuss with a backhand winner. 

  • 14:33 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal *3-1

    Nadal pins Djokovic to the baseline before playing a drop shot and rushing to the net. Djokovic sprints and meets the drop shot with a clean backhand winner. At 15-15, Djokovic returns Nadal's serve with a vicious backhand winner. Rafa serves big on the next point which sets up a forehand winner down the line. That gets him pumped up. However, on the next point, Nadal sends his backhand wide despite being in control of the rally, and gives Djokovic a breakpoint. The Serb squanders it by hitting his return long. Nadal goes on to get the hold to a huge cheer from the RLA crowd.

  • 14:28 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 3-0*

    Djokovic races through his service game to get a hold to love. This has been a frantic start from the Serb. He is moving well and seems to be a step ahead of Rafa.

  • 14:24 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal *2-0

    Djokovic breaks! At 0-15, Djokovic smacks a vicious forehand which forces Nadal to stretch to retrieve it. That sets up a powerful backhand winner for the Serb. Nadal, with his elaborate pre-serve routine, has been racing against the shot clock. He has to be hurried to serve. A forehand winner takes him to 15-30 but two unforced error from the Spaniard gives Djokovic the break. 

  • 14:20 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal 1-0*

    Djokovic starts with a big serve which sets up a forehand winner. He gets to 40-0 with an ace. Nadal nets his forehand in a nine-shot rally as Djokovic gets an easy hold to love.

  • 14:17 (IST)

    Djokovic vs Nadal *0-0

     
    The World No 1 will get us underway in the final!
     
    Ready? Play!

  • 14:16 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

    That's a bold call from Brad Gilbert!

  • 14:11 (IST)

    Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

    With 31 Grand Slam titles between them, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic walk out on a packed Rod Laver Arena for only their second meeting in a final in Melbourne. 

  • 14:05 (IST)

    Concentration will be key for Rafael Nadal in the final.

Click here to read the report from Saturday's Australian Open Women's Singles final, where Naomi Osaka beat Petra Kvitova.

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, Australian Open 2019 men's singles Final LIVE Updates

Latest Updates: Match statistics from the Australian Open men's final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on Sunday (x denotes seeding):

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3

Time: 2hr 4mins

Djokovic - Nadal

8 Aces 3

0 Double Faults 2

34 Winners 21

9 Unforced Errors 28

5/8 Break Point Conversions 0/1

89 Total Points Won 53

Preview: It was fascinating to hear Novak Djokovic explain what it will be like to face Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

"The intensity that he brings on the court is immense," Djokovic said. "Without a doubt, probably the most intense tennis player that I have witnessed and played against."

"It makes you be alert, so to say, from the very first point," Djokovic said. "He doesn't allow you to kind of ease your way into the match."

All sounds rather similar to the way someone might describe competing against Djokovic.

When the No 1-ranked Djokovic and No 2 Nadal meet Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament championship, there will be differences, right down to the most obvious: Djokovic is a righty, Nadal a lefty. The similarities are far more compelling, among them an ability to go from suffocating defense to "How did he put the ball there?!" offense by aggressively staking out territory at the baseline, and an unwavering commitment to playing every point with full effort and desire, as though the ultimate outcome of the match hinged on each racket swing.

This matchup is their 53rd, the most between two men the professional era. Djokovic leads 27-25.

It is their 26th on a hard court. Djokovic leads 18-7.

It is their 15th at a major, equaling the record. Nadal leads 9-5.

It is their eighth in a Grand Slam final. Nadal leads 4-3.

It is their second in an Australian Open final. Djokovic won a five-setter in 2012 that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Slam final ever.

"Nadal has historically, throughout my life and career, been the greatest rival that I ever played against, on all the surfaces. Some matches that we had against each other were a great turning point in my career. I feel they have made me rethink my game," Djokovic said.

"I had some disappointing moments where I lost to him. ... I won, also, some great matches. Those kinds of encounters have also made me the player I am today, without a doubt," the 31-year-old Serb said. "These are the kind of matches that you live for, finals of Slams, playing the greatest rivals at their best. What more can you ask for?"

Djokovic is to collect a record seventh Australian Open title, breaking a tie with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer.

That would lift his Grand Slam haul to 15, pushing Djokovic one ahead of Pete Sampras.

The only men with more? Federer is at 20, Nadal at 17.

For Nadal, this represents a chance to cut into Federer's lead and become the third man with at least two championships at each major. The 32-year-old Spaniard's previous title in Australia came in 2009; he's lost three other finals, while Djokovic is 6-0.

Both were outstanding in the semifinals. Nadal beat 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0; Djokovic defeated 24-year-old Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

Tsitsipas on Nadal: "Just has the talent to make you play bad."

Pouille on Djokovic: "Not so many players can beat him, for sure. Maybe one or two."

He put Nadal in that category, and it's easy to see why. A tweaked serve and that lasso of a forehand are making Nadal as dangerous as ever; he hasn't dropped a set in Melbourne.

And to think: He is coming off a series of injuries on unforgiving hard courts.

Nadal retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal last year because of a right leg problem; stopped again during his U.S. Open semifinal in September with pain in his right knee; had offseason surgery on his right ankle; pulled out of a tuneup tournament this month because of a bothersome thigh.

He was rusty. He acknowledged being a "little bit worried" because of "issue after issue."

"After four, five months without action at all," Nadal said, "then, of course, you know that you can come here and anything can happen, no?"

Djokovic dealt with his own health scare: A sore right elbow that cost him the last half of 2017 and contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago before he had an operation.

Like Nadal, Djokovic is once again at the top of his game.

They're ready to resume their rivalry.

"Hopefully," Djokovic said, "we're all going to have a good time."

With inputs from AP

 

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Updated Date: Jan 27, 2019 16:58:20 IST

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