The issue has been debated for the past few years, but if it continues like this, Novak Djokovic will be able to raise his hand alone as the greatest. On Sunday night, the 31-year-old Serbian showed his extraordinary come back by winning the Australian Open for the seventh time after defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2 and 6-3.
Nadal´s 25th Grand Slam made believe his fans that finally he would have the opportunity to end the negative streak of seven consecutive losses against Djokovic on hard court. However, what happened in episode 53 of the greatest rivalry of the Open Era, favor only one side.
Of the seven finals he has played in the Rod Laver Arena, it can be said that this was the most comfortable victory of his record in Melbourne, only losing eight games. So far, the best outcome in the first Grand Slam of the year, was the 2011 final against Andy Murray, when he lost nine games.
Nadal, on the other side, suffered the biggest loss in a Grand Slam final and his first fall in straight sets. The record of this rivalry is 28- 25 in favor of the Serbian. Nadal has not beaten the Serbian on a hard court since the 2013 final of the US Open.
After sharing for a year the record for most Australian Open titles with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer, Djokovic now takes the lead in solo, while his 15 ‘majors’ place him two from Nadal and five from Federer. This victory also breaks the tie he had with the idol of his childhood, Pete Sampras, whose 14 Grand Slam titles were the record number of men’s tennis, until Federer imposed his marks.
Passing the 30-year-old mark, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 9 of the last Grand
Djokovic, the youngest with 31 years of age, looks more driven that ever, which makes us wonder, how long will it take for the Serbian to take Roger’s title of the GOAT?
When Novak won Roland-Garros three years ago, he became the first player in 47 years to get all four Grand Slam titles at once. With the victories in Wimbledon, US Open and now the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic will start as the main favorite in the tournament where Rafael Nadal is absolute king.
If he repeats what happened in Paris, he will do everything in his power to avoid what happened in 2016: it took seven Grand Slam for him to raise a trophy again (Wimbledon, 2018).
However, with the level that he has demonstrate, it is difficult that this will happen again.