Djokovic wins his 34th Grand Slam semi-final

Novak Djokovic has progressed to the Australian Open final after beating Lucas Pouille in straight sets.

The 14-time Grand Slam winner breezed through the semi-final, winning 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2, booking his place in the final where he will play Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

The World Number One broke serve a total of seven times throughout the match, which only lasted an hour and twenty minutes. The Serbian produced a flawless performance, hitting 29 winners with only five unforced errors during the match.

Pouille was seeded 28th at the start of the competition and was predicted to give Djokovic a tough game, given their time served together as training partners. However, the Serbian proved to be too much for him to take and after saving two break points at the start of the first set, he gifted the Number One seed a break after a poor double fault.

From there it was all downhill for the Frenchman, who only won 46% of his first serve in the first set, allowing Djokovic to win 77% of his second serves.

 

Acting Director

Infographic by Jade du Preez for EN4News

 

Pouille eventually got himself on the scoreboard on the half hour mark. After failing to win a game in the first set, he held serve in the second game of the second set. With the set at 1-1, the crowd finally had something to cheer about but the Serbian soon silenced the noise when he pushed Pouille to another break point in the fourth game.

Once again, the Frenchman buckled under the pressure and produced another double fault to gift Djokovic the advantage in the second set. Two more unforced errors gave Djokovic his second set and it soon looked like it wasn’t to be Pouille’s day.

The flow of the game was to be matched in the final set when Djokovic broke serve twice to ensure an emphatic victory in a rather one-sided contest.

The Serb has a noticeable love for the hard courts of the Australian Open, having won six titles there since 2008. It was the first Grand Slam title for Djokovic – still in his early 20’s – with another 13 to follow over the years, and rivals amassed that are the stuff of legends.

The finals match on Sunday promises to be a belter, so long as injury is avoided from both sides of the net. The hot weather doesn’t look like it will play a factor in the match, this Sunday is set to be 26 degrees Celsius. A very mild day compared to earlier last week when parts of Melbourne were experiencing 50 degrees Celsius weather. Painful to play in and painful to watch.

Djokovic meets Nadal in the final for the first time since 2012, when the World Number One edged a close victory in a thrilling six hour contest. The pair have met on court more than any other rivalry in the Open Era, a total of 52 times with Djokovic edging Nadal 27-25. Could he make it 28 on Sunday? Djokovic hasn’t lost the title of any of his six AO final appearances – food for thought as the first Grand Slam of 2019 comes to a close.

The match will take place in Melbourne at 8:30am GMT on Sunday morning.

 

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