Novak Djokovic excited by Rafael Nadal final

Novak Djokovic excited by Rafael Nadal final

Novak Djokovic excited by Rafael Nadal final

"Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's incredible", the 31-year-old told reporters after needing barely two hours to extend his flawless record in seven Australian Open finals.

"It ranks right at the top", Djokovic said of his display in the final.

Tonight's 2012 rematch between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal paints another clear reminder of just how dominant the pair, alongside Roger Federer, have remained over 15 years atop the tennis pyramid. What we expected of the 53rd meeting between Nadal and Djokovic was a reprise of their classic 2012 final, a almost six-hour slugest between the two best players on the planet.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic was relieved to have beaten Rafa Nadal in the Australian Open final.

Nadal had not dropped a set prior to facing the top-ranked Djokovic on Sunday night and had devastatingly seen off the challenge of several rising stars such as Roger Federer's conqueror Stefanos Tsitsipas, who could win only six games in their semi-final. The Swiss has lost their four most recent meetings, stretching back to the 2015 ATP Finals, while Djokovic has won 14 of their past 20 matches.

"When I was starting to play, one of the first images of tennis was him playing Wimbledon, winning I think his first title back in '92..."

Nadal had no answers to what he described as an "unbelievable" performance from Djokovic, who labelled his own display "truly a ideal match".

"I'm just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months", Djokovic said.

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"I was not able to have that extra thing, being honest". Until Sunday, the Australian Open was the only Slam without a seven-time (or more) victor - Richard Sears, William Larned and Bill Tilden have all won the US Open seven times, Nadal the French Open 11 times and Federer eight times at Wimbledon. The score board for tennis' biggest prizes only reads those three names, for the most part, with only Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray occasionally crashing the party.

Both players are taking different positives from this match.

"I think I was playing great during the both weeks in offensive positions".

History will be on the line, with Djokovic looking to become the first man to win seven Australian Open titles and Nadal the first in the Open era, and only the third in history, to win all four slams at least twice. "That's all. It's not about being more nervous", Nadal explained to the media following the match. Sure, he won just 11 Grand Slam titles, but he was banned from playing majors for five years (20 majors) because he had turned professional.

Sealing the win on the second championship point when a desperate Nadal fired a backhand long, Djokovic kneeled on the blue hardcourt and shook his fists at the sky, letting out a roar of triumph. But, I mean, clay specifically in order to have a chance and shot at the title. "I played someone who played much better than me". "But then you have (Dominic) Thiem and (Alexander) Zverev, and Roger (Federer) is probably going to play, and you have a lot of great players on clay who can challenge me or anybody else".

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.

"I don't want to sound arrogant, but I always believe in myself".

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