A picture said it all. A young, dark-haired woman in the Rod Laver Arena, the heavy head of the gang propped up, motionless, and sad, without hope. “This is a Nadal-Fan,” said Eurosport commentator Matthias Stach dry, and it didn’t take much imagination to support this assumption.

Novak Djokovic had just answered with a swift backhand to Rafael Nadal with a Forehand shot and two Break points for 5:2 in the second set landed, seconds later, he had won with another Forehand, and three tough serves this set. “What has happened since Wimbledon with this guy?”, asked, Stung, stunned, and before expert Boris Becker could answer, came advertising.

And it really is crazy how Djokovic has broken rattles to a clear final victory against Nadal, the power of the Serbs to the record winner at the Australian Open. Prior to that, he had dominated the tennis scene. Up to the year 2016. But on the way to the last piece of the mosaic, the French Open victory, was injured Djokovic. He was in a mental hole, tried a new coach and a Mentally-Guru, until he returned in 2018 back to the tried and tested Team and to the success.

Wimbledon semi-final as a turning point

at Wimbledon, he won in the semifinals against Nadal in a Match of the year in five sets, and again set a Coach, Marian Vajda, said recently: “After this Match, Novak has his fear of Losing, lost again.” Djokovic’s balance sheet since last summer, to the Melbourne final: 44 wins with only four defeats, a jump from 22nd place in the world were, back to one. Just as the two years would have been just a bad dream, a short break.

It was spoken in the course of the Australian Open about the new serve of Nadal, he had worked in the preparation of the movement, came out with more speed to Melbourne and had won its last 66 premium games before the finals, all of them.


Djokovic, however, not impressed. He afterwards took Nadal’s first service game and the second almost still; the Spaniards had, as is so often nervous in the early stages, played to short and fabricated a lot of simple errors. “Djokovic forcing Nadal to play earlier aggressive than he would like,” commented Ex-Djokovic Coach Becker quickly.

Djokovic took 40 per cent of all the balls before the base line (in the rest of the tournament, there were only 22). So he left Nadal no time to be a game. At the same time Djokovic has defended once more so good that Nadal was forced to play closer to the lines, more risk and more errors made. 28 for Nadal on Sunday, Djokovic only nine ran. He hit 34 Winner. Only 51 per cent made Nadal the point when the first impact came.

So no chance Nadal was never

And while Nadal so had to fight, in spite of the new serve from the beginning of his games, impressed with Djokovic, in turn, with the Service. 20 of the 21 played points on serve, he won in set one. Throughout the Match, sniffed Nadal only once on a Break, in the middle of the third set. But since he acted hastily, put a playable backhand into the net. A little later the Match was over.

After five hours and 53 minutes of the duration of Melbourne-final between Djokovic and Nadal in 2012, this time it was a very one-sided duel , the perceived length shorter than the official two hours and four minutes. It was also Nadal’s first three-set loss in a Grand Slam final. So no chance of the 32-Year-old was never.

Rafael Nadal

“It was an incredible Level of Novak,” Nadal following the defeat, but also grateful – in 15 of the last 16 tournaments on hard court he had to give up injured or cancellations must be said. “Since the US Open, I have a Match more to play, and even if today is not my day, it was an emotional two weeks.”

He had played in the entire tournament offensively strong, explained Nadal later for his Defensive Tennis, he would have needed against Djokovic, but too few training opportunities. “I need time and have to work to come back to this point.”

Djokovic dreams of winning the Grand Slam

For Djokovic, however, everything went as planned. “I had a choice, to focus on him or me. I focused on me,” he said. The Serb looked back. “Twelve months ago I had surgery on the elbow. To stand here now, to have three of the last four Grand Slam tournaments won – this is crazy.”

Novak Djokovic

After his successful start to the season, also his dream of the Grand Slam lives on. To win the dream, the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in a season.

In Paris, the next Major tournament in may, Nadal wins with eleven tournament again the man to beat. Djokovic was able to defeat him only Once, in the year 2015, as Nadal was in a state of crisis. It should come out 2019 to Meet again, it could be also narrower than in Melbourne.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.