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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic dominates Rafael Nadal in final

By
Alex Butler
Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain leaves the court after being defeated in his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic (C) of Serbia at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Sunday in Melbourne. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA-EFE
Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain leaves the court after being defeated in his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic (C) of Serbia at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Sunday in Melbourne. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA-EFE

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal was no match for Novak Djokovic on Sunday in Melbourne, as the Serbian beat the Spaniard in straight sets to claim a seventh Australian Open title.

"It ranks right at the top," Djokovic told reporters. "Under the circumstances and playing against Nadal in such an important match. It's amazing. Obviously back-to-back semifinals and finals to I think make 15 unforced errors in total in tow match is pleasantly surprising to myself as well."

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Djokovic won the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. He previously won at Melbourne in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019. The Serbia also passed tennis icon Pete Sampras for third all-time in Grand Slam titles.

"The Joker" got off to a quick start, going up 3-0 in the first set and using his long frame to snipe shots all over the court with his big forehand. Nadal went up 1-0 in the second set before Djokovic rallied back. The Serbian later tied the set at 2-2, sparking a run of five consecutive set points to win the set. He finished off the set with three consecutive 119 mph aces.

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Nadal again took a 1-0 lead in the third set before Djokovic fought back for a 3-1 lead. Nadal rallied to make it 4-3 before being closed out for the final two set points.

"When he's playing that way, I think I needed something else," Nadal said. "I was not able to have that extra thing tonight. It was unbelievable the way that he played, no doubt about that."

Djokovic is now 7-1 in Australian Open finals. He is 28-25 in his career against Nadal.

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The French Open is the next Grand Slam, set for May 20 through June 9 at Roland-Garros in Paris.

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