Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rafael Nadal's Spain Face Novak Djokovic's Serbia For Inaugural Title

Rafael Nadal's Spain Face Novak Djokovic's Serbia For Inaugural Title

Fending off break chances in the next couple of games, Dusan stayed on the positive side of the scoreboard until game 12 when Roberto broke at 15 to secure the opener after an hour and gain a massive boost ahead of the second set.

Roberto Bautista Agut had earlier beaten Nick Kyrgios 6-1, 6-4 to give Spain the lead, and Nadal's win secured Spain's victory before the doubles, where Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez won to give Spain a 3-0 sweep.

Medvedev had won their previous two matches at ATP Masters events in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati a year ago and was 2-3 in career head-to-heads, each time in three sets, and wasn't about to give up a spot in the final without a fight.

But Djokovic showed his class in the deciding rubber to take a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory, and book a showdown against Spain or Australia in Sunday's showpiece.

"My team-mates played great yesterday and my energy levels are a little bit lower than usual".

Dusan Lajovic gave Serbia the lead when he beat Karen Khachanov 7-5, 7-6 (1), clinching the first set with the only breakpoint chance of the match when he whipped a single-handed backhand victor down the line.

The Australia-Spain clash looked set to require a doubles match to break the deadlock when De Minaur overwhelmed Nadal in the first set and matched the world No.1 stroke-for-stroke in the second.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with captain Nenad Zimonjic and his team after winning his semi-final singles match.

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But, world No. 2 Novak Djokovic has also been undefeated.

The irrepressible de Minaur pinched a break back but it wasn't enough as Nadal avoided losses in back-to-back matches for the first time since October 2016. However, he was pushed by Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the final eight and won an epic encounter against Russian Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 28-26.

Djokovic was showing signs of fatigue, hunching over and burying his face in a towel to get his breath back after netting to end a 31-shot rally in the fifth game of the second set.

Nadal paid Goffin a compliment by saying: "David played a great match, better than me". There were some incredible exchanges today.

"At one point we both refused to miss from the baseline, so it was a lot of rallies and it was very exhausting".

"It was a very physical battle, but also a mental battle, too".

It was the first match between two top 5 players at the tournament and Djokovic raised his game for it in the first set, which he wrapped up in a half-hour and committed just four unforced errors.

Stream every match and every court of the Australian Open on 9Now.

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