Rafael Nadal destroyed by Novak Djokovic in Australian Open final

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He's achieved the feat once before as well, after winning the French Open in 2016.

Novak Djokovic's record seventh Australian Open title allowed him to stay at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, and Rafael Nadal's runner-up showing kept him at No. 2.

"Not impossible, but highly unlikely", Djokovic said. As Nadal discovered on Sunday, the only player capable of stopping Novak Djokovic right now is Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic was efficiently ruthless, defeating one of the all-time greats, Rafael Nadal, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

"When he was hitting, it's true that maybe it was hard to beat him even if I was at my 100 percent (level)".

It's a reasonable point.

Eight games in, Djokovic had, yet, to lose a point on serve. He's recovered his focus as well as his game. His age and strokes are not quite the same as they were two years ago.

At 32, Nadal is just a year older than Djokovic. "I worked a lot on the offensive game, but not that much on the defensive game". He has many more hard miles on his odometer, and his body requires more than routine maintenance. But he's already 37.

"Nadal and Federer have been holding three out of four many times throughout their careers". That record has some remarkable aspects that must be sobering for his rivals.

In all Grand Slam meetings, Nadal has a clear advantage with a 9-5 win-loss record.

But it's important to note that Djokovic, who has won the past three majors, is only 31, nearly a full year younger than Nadal. Like everything Djokovic tried on Sunday, it worked.

"Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's fantastic. 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".

If Federer or Nadal, or any other player in world tennis for that matter, wants to cut short Djokovic's ascent to greater heights, they will have to match the Serbian's conviction or risk remaining in his shadow for the foreseeable future. And on catching Federer's Grand Slam total?

The crafty Serb floated a drop-shot over and Nadal's scrambling retrieval clipped the net cord to give Djokovic ample time to swoop in and collect it.

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. He also broke a tie with Pete Sampras for third-most Grand Slam trophies; Djokovic only trails Federer, with 20, and Nadal. If it's possible to be the GOAT without having won the most majors, Djokovic's prospects spike.

Unfortunately for Federer, the Swiss master couldn't pull off a third Australian Open crown in a row, falling to Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fourth round upset.

Djokovic succumbed to little known Marco Cecchinato in last year's French Open quarterfinals in four sets in a clash he could have won in four. No one has won more Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era than Williams' 23.

The next major is the French Open, an apparent target, to become only the second man in tennis history to complete the Calendar Year Slam. Djokovic is now in a position to try, for the seventh and perhaps most propitious time. "I played fantastic tennis during both weeks, but probably playing that well, I didn't suffer much during both weeks".

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