Australian Open Tennis news - Supreme Djokovic destroys Nadal to clinch seventh title in Melbourne
Novak Djokovic stormed to a record seventh Australian Open title with a ruthless straight-sets victory over Rafael Nadal.
The world number one won 6-3 6-2 6-3 in just over two hours to claim his 15th Grand Slam and third in a row after winning Wimbledon and the US Open last year.
In what was their record-extending 53rd meeting, Djokovic prevailed for the 28th time after a supreme display, converting five of eight break points as Nadal failed to convert his only break-point opportunity in the third set.
Djokovic also hit just nine unforced errors to Nadal’s 28, and 34 winners to 21, outlining the one-sided nature of a final which was a complete contrast to their six-hour meeting in Melbourne seven years ago.
The 31-year-old – who moves within two Grand Slams of Nadal and five behind Roger Federer’s record 20 men’s singles titles – last held all four majors after winning the French Open in 2016, and he will look repeat that feat at Roland Garros later this year, where Nadal will once more be his greatest threat.
"I'm just trying to contemplate the journey in the last 12 months," said Djokovic. I had the surgery exactly 12 months ago so to be standing in front of you today and to win this title and three out of four Slams is amazing. I'm speechless."
Nadal came into the final having played some of the best tennis of his career, but a nervy start saw Djokovic break the Spaniard immediately in their eighth Grand Slam final showdown.
Smelling blood, Djokovic won 15 of the first 18 points, but Nadal dug deep to save another break point to get on the board at 3-1.
Djokovic’s domination continued, however, with the Serb not dropping just one point in five service games to clinch the opening set in 36 minutes.
Nadal had the majority of the crowd behind him inside the Rod Laver Arena, but as they willed him on in the hope of witnessing a closer contest, Djokovic turned the screw with a break in the fifth game of the second set.
The following game saw Nadal take more than one point on his opponent’s serve for the first time in the match, but after two deuces Djokovic survived his first real test to maintain his advantage.
Djokovic then secured a double break to lead 5-2, and ruthlessly served out to love to move within one set of a record triumph in Melbourne.
An early break saw Djokovic take a step closer to victory, and he saved a first break point for Nadal before holding for 4-2.
The clock passed the two-hour mark as Nadal found himself serving to stay in the match, and Djokovic pounced to round off the most comprehensive of Grand Slam final victories over the 32-year-old, with their previous seven meetings lasting at least four sets.