Novak Djokovic storms into seventh Australian Open final after dispatching Lucas Pouille in straight sets to set up showdown with Rafael Nadal
- Novak Djokovic dished out a hammering to Lucas Pouille in their semi-final
- World No 1 took only 23 minutes to thrash the Frenchman 6-0, 6-2, 6-2
- He sets up a first Grand Slam final meeting with Rafael Nadal since 2012
Novak Djokovic was evidently keen to go better than Rafael Nadal when it came to dishing out hammerings in the Australian Open semi-finals.
With the Spaniard having allowed Stefanos Tsitsipas just six games on Thursday, the world No 1 followed up with a 6-0 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
It took just 82 minutes, which was 24 minutes shorter than Nadal’s match as they set up what will be their 53rd career meeting in Sunday’s final.
Novak Djokovic pumps his fist after sealing a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 semi-final victory over Lucas Pouille
The six-time champion Down Under was in triumphant mood after the match
Djokovic celebrates on his way to a commanding straight-sets win over Pouille
For Djokovic it will be a 24th Major final, and for Nadal a 25th.
Their 2012 encounter on the Rod Laver Arena was the longest championship match ever at a Grand Slam, taking five hours and 53 minutes, and there is no reason to think that it will be anything other than one more tight encounter.
Coach Amelie Mauresmo could only look on helplessly as Djokovic ripped into the Frenchman’s serve, breaking him seven times in all as he displayed his sharpest form.
It was disappointing fare for the crowd in terms of a contest, even though this was a masterclass from the Serb, who cuts a completely different figure to the one who lost here last year to Korea’s Hyeon Chung.
Djokovic is into his seventh Australian Open final after making short work of Pouille
The Serb was rarely troubled by Pouille as he set up a showdown with Rafael Nadal
The No 28 seed struggled as he made his first ever Grand Slam semi-final appearance
Djokovic made only five unforced errors in all, and the Frenchman could not wait to get off court afterwards.
‘It’s definitely one of the best matches I’ve ever had on this court,’ pronounced Djokovic. ‘ Everything worked the way I imagined it. It’s a tough one for Lucas but he had a good tournament.
‘It was highly unlikely 12 months ago that I would here a year later but I always have plenty of belief in myself. That’s the key.’
Looking ahead to his meeting with Nadal he added that he doubted it would be a marathon of historic proportions. ‘I would definitely want to buy a ticket for that match.
‘We have slightly different rules this year (the shot clock and super tie-break) so I don’t think we will go that far.’
Djokovic picks himself up after taking a tumble on the baseline trying to reach for a shot
The Rod Laver Arena was full to the brim for the second men’s semi-final on Friday