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Australian Open 2019: Djokovic and Nadal meet in final

January 27, 2019 11:51 am
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal [Source: BBC]

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will renew their long-standing rivalry in an Australian Open final where both can create new records.

Djokovic is aiming for a record seventh men’s Melbourne title, while Nadal can become the first man in the Open era to win all the Grand Slams at least twice.

“It is the biggest rivalry we’ve seen in tennis history,” Australian former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash said.

The top two seeds meet at Melbourne Park for the first time since their epic five-set final in 2012, which Djokovic won with almost six hours on the clock.

The pair have produced some of the greatest matches, meeting in:

Seven Grand Slam finals
Five Grand Slam semi-finals
17 other Tour-level finals
13 other Tour-level semi-finals
One Olympic semi-final

Djokovic, 31, leads their head-to-head 27-25, with eight victories in their past 10 matches – including their memorable 2018 Wimbledon semi-final five-setter which stretched over two days.

“I’ve played so many matches against him, epic matches on this court,” said the Serb.

“I’m sure we’re going to have a good final.”

Spaniard Nadal, 32, said he was happy to have shared “very special moments” on court with Djokovic.

“We push each other to the limit of our tennis level,” he added. “Sunday is going to be another episode.”