Novak Djokovic can claim seventh Australian Open title in five set thriller against Rafael Nadal
Top seed Novak Djokovic faces second seed Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open Men’s final on Sunday. The two legends of the game can already claim 31 Grand Slams titles between them, with the Serbian having 14 titles to the Spaniard’s 17.
There’s almost nothing between the players on the head-to-head record, with Djokovic registering 27 wins to Nadal’s 25. Their respective records at the Australian Open are not so close, with Djokovic seeking what will be a record seventh title at Melbourne Park, while Nadal’s one success came back in 2009. If Nadal wins the final he will have won all four Grand Slams at least twice – becoming the first man to do so in the Open era.
Both players came through their semi-finals with ease, with Djokovic requiring just one hour and 23 minutes to win 6-0 6-2 6-2 in outclassing the 24-year-old Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Meanwhile Nadal ended the run of Greek 20 year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, with a 6-2 6-4 6-0 victory in one hour and 46 minutes to reach his fifth Australian Open final.
At a time when the established order in the men’s game was seemingly under greater threat from the younger generation than ever before, Djokovic and Nadal have dominated this year’s event. Djokovic has lost just two sets to date, while Nadal has come through all six of his matches in straight sets.
En route to the final, Nadal has beaten Alex de Minaur, Frances Tiafoe and Tsitsipas, all of whos are aged under 21 and competed in the Next Gen finals. That’s some achievement from a player who had withdrawn from nine of his last 13 tournaments and who is playing his first tournament since losing in last year’s US Open semi-finals.
Djokovic is the 4/5 favourite with William Hill to win the title, with Nadal on offer at 23/20 with BoyleSports. This has all the makings of another classic encounter between the two players, who last met in the Australian Open final back in what was an epic six-hour match in 2012. The Serbian player won on that occasion and he could be worth backing to win in five sets again this time at 5/1 with bet365*.
Set Betting – Novak Djokovic 3-2 at 5/1 with bet365*
* Odds correct at the time of writing