2019 Australian Open: Novak Djokovic routs Rafael Nadal for record seventh title
Djokovic holds the championship trophy in Melbourne for a record seventh time/Photo: Fred Lee/ Getty Images

2019 Australian Open: Novak Djokovic routs Rafael Nadal for record seventh title

Playing one of the best matches of his career, the Serb dropped just eight games en route to becoming the winningest player in tournament history.

John Lupo

Novak Djokovic is once again the Australian Open champion after a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal in 2 hours, 4 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. The Serb breaks a tie with Roger Federer after capturing his seventh title in Melbourne.

Djokovic also passes Pete Sampras for sole possession of third place on the all-time list of major titles with his 15th while denying Nadal the chance to become the third man in history to achieve the double career Grand Slam.

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Djokovic storms out of the blocks

The Serb picked up where he left off in the semifinals where he surrendered just four games to Frenchman Lucas Pouille, breaking Nadal's serve after the Spaniard overhit a forehand on double break point, the Djokovic defense putting pressure on the second seed.

Ahead 2-0, the top seed was dominating from the baseline, pushing his great rival back and forcing him into uncharacteristic mistakes. Another laser-like backhand winner capped a love hold to give Djokovic a 4-1 advantage.

Another solid hold put the six-time champion a game away from the first set and after Nadal cut into the deficit to make it 5-3, Djokovic was a set in front after the 2009 champion netted a forehand, the Serb only getting started.

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Six-time champion continues clinic to go up two sets

The Serb's incredible defensive skills continued to flourish, tracking down everything Nadal threw at him, Djokovic rushing in to pick up a drop shot from the Spaniard, forcing his great rival to hit a lob that floated just long to break for a 3-2 lead.

The world number one endured his toughest service game of the match so far in the sixth game, forced to two deuces only to hold when Nadal chipped a backhand return nowhere the target for a 4-2 advantage.

Djokovic made it four games on the trot after another baseline rally went his way and with it, a double break for 5-2. The top seed finished the set in style, firing three straight aces to claim a two-set lead, the outcome looking more and more inevitable.

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Impeccable Djokovic closes out brilliant performance

Despite the fact that the previous seven major finals between the two all-time greats had gone to four or five sets, it was increasingly likely that was not going to happen this time and a break for Djokovic in the third game only reinforced that fact.

Finally, Nadal got a look at a break point in the sixth game, but a backhand into the bottom of the net was indicative of how the match was going for the Spaniard, Djokovic now up 4-2. When given a half-chance in the Serb's next service game, the world number two was errant off of the ground.

That escape gave Djokovic a 5-3 lead and he held two championship points on the Nadal serve. After saving the first, the Spaniard sent a final backhand into the net to end one of the most dominant performances in the history of Grand Slam finals.