Djokovic stays on course to overtake Federer

Reuters  Lucy Nicholson

Rafael Nadal will hope his new aggressive approach can earn him Australian Open revenge against Novak Djokovic seven years on from their first final in Melbourne.

World number one Novak Djokovic said he played a "perfect match" in his straight sets win over Rafael Nadal in the 2019 Australian Open final on Sunday, as he clinched a record seventh title in Melbourne and looked ahead to the chance of holding a.

It took Djokovic just 36 minutes, though, to snap that streak after the top seed broke the second seed's very first service game of the match.

Only one of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic 's 52 meetings has been at the Australian Open.

Able to break Nadal's first service game with huge power and accuracy from the baseline, the Serbian world number one immediately went three games up and had no problem closing out the opening set.

The lone year Federer claimed the French Open in 2009, he lost to Nadal months earlier in a gripping Australian Open final. He trails the Spanish great in Grand Slam matches (6-9) and is now tied in Slam finals (4-4), though he enjoys a slight advantage if matches at the French Open aren't counted; on grass/hard, Djokovic leads 5-3 for Slam matches and 4-2 for Slam finals. I think that this finals comes at the right time for both of us.

And now: Some 12 months ago, Djokovic was having surgery on his elbow.

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"If I'm still playing and winning slams I think it's logical to conclude that I am (aiming for that)", Djokovic said. "I was not able to have that extra thing tonight".

For his part, Nadal was satisfied with his overall form in his first tournament since the U.S. Open last September. "Hopefully we don't go that long this time, but I'm sure we're going to have a good finals".

Djokovic captured the first of his majors in Melbourne in 2008, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but it was three years before he added his second. Then you have [Dominic] Thiem and [Alexander] Zverev, Roger [Federer] is probably going to play.

Kei Nishikori, Federer and Murray were unable to stop him from there as Djokovic joined Roy Emerson on six Australian Open crowns.

It is wise to sit up and take notice when Novak Djokovic, now the victor of 15 major singles titles, describes a performance as "truly a flawless match".

Even the most fervent of Federer fans - and there are plenty of those - would struggle to make a case for their man as a realistic challenger to Djokovic.

Nadal was OK with his attacking game, but said he needed a lot more work from his defensive positions.

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"I need to play better than I have last season".

"They've sacrificed a lot of their time and energy for me to live my dream to be standing here today and I try to always remind myself and not take that for granted".

The reason he was less successful, Toni Nadal wrote, was the aggressive game plan he had enacted successfully against the rest of the men's field did not phase Djokovic.

"That´s my feeling, just keep playing the way that I am playing and, let´s see, expect to have one of those special days". I am already playing better, but I mean clay specifically in order to have a chance and shot at the title.

No one who saw it would disagree.

Considering his age, excellent health, a near obsession with clean living and hearty appetite for domination (Djokovic has won three straight majors in his zero-to-hero resurgence), it's hard to escape the idea that it's game on for GOAT honors.

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