Novak Djokovic achieves 'absolute perfection' in routing Rafael Nadal | Kevin Mitchell

Rafael Nadal

But as impressive as Nadal was in the past fortnight, the 17-times major victor felt his lack of match practise before the Australian Open was a telling point in his comprehensive loss to Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic put on a beyond-clinical performance in his Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal on Sunday-winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to pass Pete Sampras' career Grand Slam total, and setting the tournament record for the most men's singles titles, at 7.

"I'm just one slam away from that and I'm not the only one who has been in this situation before". He ranked their summit showdown right at the top.

Novak Djokovic is hurtling towards a unique place in tennis history after crushing Rafael Nadal to claim an unprecedented seventh Australian Open men's singles crown. I´m playing a final of Grand Slam for the record seventh title here. But it's more likely that Djokovic, after a mid-career crisis triggered by private issues and an elbow injury, is better than ever.

The 31-year-old promptly chose to undergo surgery to cure a long-standing elbow injury and since a premature exit at the French Open last year has appeared a resurgent presence on tour.

Djokovic wanted the record for most Australian Open titles in his own right, and he went out hard.

After winning one-sided semi-finals that few will remember in years to come, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal will face off in a blockbuster Australian Open decider on Sunday that offers much more than a clash of great players. The Serb's victory was simply magnificent as he embarrassed Nadal in 124 minutes of spellbinding dominance.

The match's only break came when Kontinen served at 4-all in the first set.

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That Djokovic would produce 34 winners and only nine unforced errors was impressive enough.

It is hard to argue with a player, who has won all four of tennis' major tournaments and spent countless weeks as the world number one, when he suggests this is as good as it gets. "It's unbelievable. Obviously back-to-back semifinals and finals to I think make 15 unforced errors in total in tow match is pleasantly surprising to myself as well". Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's fantastic.

For just the fourth time in 31 grand slam finals involving the "Big Four", the loser failed to win at least 10 games.

Djokovic described conquering clay-court colossus Nadal, who will be chasing a 12th title at Roland Garros, as "probably the ultimate challenge in tennis". "I have my age", said the 32-year-old.

Then again, Nadal conceded, "When the player did nearly everything better than you, you can't complain much".

"Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's fantastic". But, I mean, clay specifically in order to have a chance and shot at the title.

The crowd was left stunned as the indefatigable Nadal himself was reduced to a mere spectator to the Djokovic onslaught.

"I have been going through very tough moments", he said, listing a string of ailments ranging from his knee, his feet, abdominal issues to an ankle operation at the end of 2018, and a strained thigh muscle in the first week of this season.

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