The men’s final at the Australian Open 2019 is all set between the World’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal on 27th January, Sunday at around 8.30 am GMT (2 pm IST). The two champions will be playing head to head for the 8th time for a Grand Slam final in their careers.
The two have played for 52 times in their entire career gracing the victories nearly equal number of times with Djokovic leading the series 27 while Nadal taking 25, but Nadal has a 4-3 edge in Grand Slam finals. When it comes to Grand Slams Nadal leads with 17 while 14 for Djokovic and Career titles – Nadal at 80, 72 for Djokovic.
Entering Sunday’s match, the World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has won five consecutive matches in Australian open beating Stefanos Tsitsipas with 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in the semi-finals. Nadal is an offensive player with forehand being his most dangerous weapon. His backhand is one of the most improved shots in recent years making him an even more dangerous player for his opponents. What is interesting to see is Nadal has only dropped his serve twice in the entire tournament that too in the first round. His serve is yet to be broken for last 5 matches which is something remarkable! Maybe, it has a lot to do with the refined technique of his serve and the enhancements it brings to the game.
Previously when Nadal used to hit his serve, his ball used to lose some speed after landing – which is no more a problem. Now he is hitting more flat serves with an increase in the average speed of 4-5 miles/hour which is making him hit his first shot with more control and authority eventually his opponents are finding it difficult to break his serve. Nadal told ATPTour.com, “Maybe it had a little more pace back then, but my new serve is a safer approach.” Currently, his new motion of serve is making wonders for him and hope it makes a lasting impact beyond the Australian Open.
While on the other hand, the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has entered the Australian Open by defeating Lucas Pouille with 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals. Djokovic has the best defense game due to his tendency to stay on the baseline. Novak serves with prevision and he is the best double handed backhander of all time. His movement on court is phenomenal making him one of the most difficult opponents to face.
It’s Djokovic Vs Nadal for the 53rd time in the history of Djokovic-Nadal rivalry. The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry is considered as one of the greatest rivalries in the tennis history, it will be magnificent to see who graces the game by winning Australian Open 2019 trophy.
As a fangirl, I expect Nadal to edge Djokovic with epic four sets encounter as the history suggests these two have never played Grand Slam Final of three sets against each other.