After two lacklustre semi-finals, the showdown in the Australian Open final between the two top ranked men’s players was billed as an instant classic.
Tennis fans were expecting to sit down and watch a gruelling contest between two absolute warriors just like the one they put on back in 2012. How wrong we were.
Sunday night was supposed to be equivalent of Muhammad Ali taking on George Foreman. Instead it looked more like Quade Cooper fighting Jack McInnes.
Novak Djokovic showed why he has such a firm grip on the No. 1 ranking by completely obliterating Rafael Nadal, winning 6-3 6-2 6-3.
The sheer brutality of the opening set had to be seen to be believed with Djokovic only losing one point off his own serve. It came 33 minutes into the match at 5-3 when he hit a groundstroke into the net.
Australian tennis legend Pat Cash summed up the opening set by proclaiming a “nervous” Nadal had reverted to playing a style that night work on his favoured clay, but doesn’t cut it on the hardcourt of Rod Laver Arena.
“A combination of Djokovic coming out playing incredible and Nadal being a little nervous,” Cash tweeted.
“Rafa reverted to playing clay court tennis because he’s not confident. It’s not going to work when Novak is playing this well.”
Things didn’t get any better for Nadal as Djokovic strolled away with the straight sets victory in a little over two hours.
The massacre was perfectly summed up in the opening set when Nadal had an unbelievable air swing when attempting a forehand. It looked like his racquet hit his knee on the way through, missing the ball completely.
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