Stats Show Insane Novak Djokovic Record After Seventh Australian Open Victory

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during the match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic. Aly Song Reuters

Although reaching the final without dropping a set, Nadal said he was still short of his best after a long injury lay-off following the U.S. Open and lacked an edge to pressure the Serb.

As is customary after the Australian Open final, the ball kids get to come back out on court and pose for photos with the victor and the trophy. Spain's Rafael Nadal attends a winning ceremony after the match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic. "Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's wonderful", the 31-year-old told reporters after needing barely two hours to extend his flawless record in seven Australian Open finals.

"I played good tennis for a couple of weeks".

"Honestly, I wouldn't have wanted this to be our first match".

Nadal was OK with his attacking game, but said he needed a lot more work from his defensive positions.

Djokovic came out all guns blazing and broke Nadal in the Spaniard's first service game to race ahead 4-1 in the opening set, before holding firm to seize the early advantage in the contest at Rod Laver Arena. That is a staggering statistic.

"It makes you be alert, so to say, from the very first point", Djokovic said. His record since the beginning of Wimbledon a year ago is 38-4, and that includes two wins each against Federer and Nadal. Like everything Djokovic tried on Sunday, it worked. He seemed uncharacteristically nervous and missed several routine shots.

Coming into the final, Nadal had committed an average of 18 unforced errors and 33 winners in a match.

By the end of the second set, after 75 minutes of action, Djokovic had won almost twice as many points (59-30), made more winners (23-14) and far fewer unforced errors (20-4), while taking 14 of 17 points that lasted at least 10 strokes. It was as if Nadal was playing on gravel while Djokovic glided on air.

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"I going to do the things that give me better chance to be healthy more than anything", he said.

The result was one of the most lopsided Grand Slam matches ever between members of the Big 3, surpassed only by Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Roger Federer at Roland Garros in 2008.

Rafael Nadal lost a Grand Slam final for the first time in straight sets.

With his 15th major title, Djokovic grabbed sole possession of third place on the all-time list, passing Pete Sampras.

Catching up to, and eventually surpassing, Nadal and Federer: Why not? "He's the only one that has managed to do the impossible challenge, probably the ultimate challenge of tennis". Even considering that deficit, Djokovic already has a case as the greatest ever: He's the only male player to win all nine Masters titles, and he's won 15 majors and 73 career titles despite competing his entire career against two other GOAT candidates.

Despite the one-sided nature of the final, Nadal maintains that he was pleased with his overall performance in the Grand Slam tournament, particularly as it came in the wake of ankle and thigh problems which have plagued him since previous year.

It's easy to overreact to one exceptional performance.

Pouille on Djokovic: "Not so many players can beat him, for sure".

His domination of these two greats suggests that if he can stay fit and focussed, there are few in the men's game who can stop him. Djokovic repeated, puzzled. When the laughter abated, he answered, smiling: "Just fine".

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