Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Crushes Pouille, Set Up Final Against Nadal

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Crushes Pouille, Set Up Final Against Nadal 1On the hottest day in Melbourne for eight years, a red-hot Novak Djokovic stormed into Sunday’s Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal with a tennis masterclass against Lucas Pouille. Top-seeded Djokovic, contesting his 34th career Grand Slam semi-final, pursuing a record seventh championship at Melbourne Park and 15th major trophy overall made just five unforced errors as he destroyed 28th-seeded Pouille 6-0 6-2 6-2 to reach the showpiece event once again. Djokovic said: “It’s definitely one of the best matches I ever had on this court. Everything worked the way I’d imagined it and even more so. Tough one for Lucas but he had a great tournament and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.” Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Crushes Pouille, Set Up Final Against Nadal 2The 24-year-old Frenchman, who is coached by two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo, had never experienced a Grand Slam semi-final before and it showed in a 23-minute opening set as Djokovic whitewashed his practice partner. Pouille, who had never won a match at Melbourne Park before this year in five previous appearances, got on the board to make it 1-1, showing a bit of the form that got him here with two fine passing shots.  A packed Rod Laver Arena was desperate to see a contest but Pouille’s first serve percentage dropped alarmingly while a series of errors were harming his chances of recovery. A third double fault from the Frenchman saw him drop serve once more to trail 3-1 and, when Djokovic broke again to take the second set 6-2, Pouille was staring at one of the most one-sided losses in Grand Slam semi-final history. The Serb seemed to have all the answers and he let out a huge roar on his way to a breakthrough in the fourth game of the third set and it was soon job done in one hour and 23 minutes as Djokovic charged into the 24th Grand Slam final of his career. Djokovic will now take on a rampant Rafael Nadal, who has not dropped his serve for an astonishing 63 straight games and has not lost a set on his way to the decider. It will be their 53rd meeting overall with Djokovic leading the head-to-head record 27-25. They last met in the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year with the Serb winning a five-set thriller. Recalling the five-hour and 53-minute marathon he won over Nadal in 2012 final, Djokovic said: “I would definitely buy the ticket for that match. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hopefully, the outcome can be the same for me.” Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Crushes Pouille, Set Up Final Against Nadal 3Photo Credit: Getty

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