Aus Open: Djokovic Brushes Aside Pouille, to Meet Nadal in Final
- Novak Djokovic beat Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in the second semi-final of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday.
- During the match Djokovic made five unforced errors and produce 24 winners against Pouille.
- World No. 1 Djokovic will now play against world no. 2 Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday, 27 January.
With every loud squeak of his blue-hued shoes, Novak Djokovic put himself in perfect position to control a point — and step closer to a record seventh Australian Open championship.
Djokovic was downright flawless right from the outset of his semifinal against an overmatched No. 28 Lucas Pouille and never relented, not for a moment, en route to a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 victory in less than 1½ hours Friday night.
Of all the ways in which Djokovic dominated, perhaps this was the most impressive: He made a total of an unheard-of five unforced errors. And that's despite risking enough to produce 24 winners.
“Everything worked the way I imagined it before the match. And even more so.”Novak Djokovic
On Sunday, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic will line up against his old rival, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, for the 53rd time on tour, eighth in a Grand Slam final.
Only Nadal, with 17, and Roger Federer, with 20, own more major titles than Djokovic, who is gaining on them: He is seeking his 15th overall and third in a row, following Wimbledon last July and the U.S. Open last September.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 27-25 overall, while Nadal holds a 4-3 edge in major finals. The only other time they met with the Australian Open trophy on the line, in 2012, Djokovic edged Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 across 5 hours, 53 minutes, making it the lengthiest Grand Slam title match in history.
Given how well both men are playing at the moment, this showdown shapes up as another potential classic, unlike the two semifinals.
Nadal was superb while beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday night and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.
A day later, Djokovic played as if setting out to say, "Anything you can do, I can do better."
This was Djokovic's 34th Grand Slam semi-final and he's now won his last 10. Pouille, a 24-year-old Frenchman coached by former women's No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, was making his debut at this stage.
The wide gulf in experience and accomplishments showed on a cloudy, breezy evening as Djokovic improved to 7-0 in semifinals at Melbourne Park.
He is also unbeaten so far in finals, sharing the men's mark of six Australian Open titles with Roy Emerson and Federer.
(With inputs from AP)