Djokovic claims seventh Australian Open title after straight sets victory over Nadal

Rafa Nadal had taken an hour and 46 minutes to wrap up victory on Thursday while giving away just six games to the 20-year-old Tsitsipas

And I've always wondered how they did that, " Osaka said. "When someone does everything better than you, you can't complain", Nadal said after the match.

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

Djokovic has won all six previous finals he has contested at the Melbourne Park, including the five-hour-53-minute championship contest against Nadal in 2012.

From there, Djokovic knuckled down to complete one of his most stunning victories.

He was unable to take a point off Djokovic's serve until the ninth game, when the Serb was already serving for the first set.

He reduced one of the greats of the game to just another outclassed opponent _ just a guy, really _ and one so out of sorts that Nadal even whiffed on one of his famous forehands entirely.

It is their eighth in a Grand Slam final. Nadal leads 4-3. What Tsitsipas likely didn't envision was Nadal, three days later, looking just as overmatched in the Australian Open final.

Despite having clashed 14 times previously at the slams, and nine times in finals, Djokovic and Nadal haven't stoushed at the pointy end of a major in nearly five years. Spain's Rafael Nadal attends a winning ceremony after the match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic. Some matches that we had against each other were a great turning point in my career. I think I´ve lost to him nine times so far in the Grand Slams. "I might have figured him out for the match, but not for life".

Maybe he even played too well in the early stages of the competition, he said, adding that he probably wasn't challenged as much as he might have been in the earlier rounds of the competition and that he wasn't at his battle-hardened best for the final as a result.

´What more can you ask for?'

Rafael Nadal gets another shot at an 18th Grand Slam title as he squares off against Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open men's final on Sunday.

Speaking on the possibility of beating Federer's Grand Slam haul, Djokovic seemed fairly confident it could happen.

The only men with more? He now trails only Federer (20) and Nadal (17).

Djokovic's record against Roger Federer and Nadal - two players who are still at the very peak of men's tennis - since 2011 is quite exemplary as well. "But I'm sure we're going to have a good final", Djokovic opined.

Both were outstanding in the semifinals.

Not a shabby returner, either, Nadal could make no headway on this day.

He put Nadal in that category, and it's easy to see why. He dropped sets for the first time in the tournament, and eventually slumped to his heaviest loss to Djokovic in their Grand Slam meetings.

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

Nadal retired injured in both Australian and US Opens and had an operation on his ankle in November. "I have to work on my game, my clay-court game, a bit more".

When Djokovic broke again in the third game of the third set, it was just a matter of how quickly he would finish off Nadal.

A sore right elbow cost Djokovic the last half of 2017.

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