Novak Djokovic was even more ruthless than Rafael Nadal in racing through to the Australian Open final.
Twenty-four hours after Nadal had defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas for the loss of only six games, Djokovic took just an hour and 23 minutes to see off France’s Lucas Pouille 6-0 6-2 6-2.
Djokovic and Nadal will now meet for the 53rd time on Sunday, with the Serbian bidding to become the first man to win the title seven times.
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Home win at last
Sam Stosur’s struggles with expectation in singles at the Australian Open were an annual part of the tournament for years. So there was understandable joy when the 34-year-old teamed up with Zhang Shuai to win the women’s doubles title.
It is Stosur’s second title in Melbourne after the mixed doubles in 2005, and comes 13 years after she served for the women’s crown with Lisa Raymond only to lose.
She said: “You never know if you’re going to be in a grand slam final ever again. To now 13 years later be holding this (trophy) instead of the runner-up is a really good feeling.”
How better to pick yourself up from a Rafael Nadal battering than by creating your own souvlaki? Stefanos Tsitsipas headed to Melbourne’s famous Greek hangout Stalactites on Friday to add his dish to the menu. The Tsitsipas souvlaki features lamb, tomato, tzatziki, pomegranate, feta, mint, basil, chilli and chips. Yours for 16 Australian dollars.
Who’s up next?
The Australian Open title and the world number one ranking will be on the line when Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova clash in a big-hitting women’s final on Saturday evening.
Osaka will be bidding to win back-to-back grand slam titles after her victory at the US Open while, for Kvitova, victory would bring her a first slam crown outside of Wimbledon and a first for four and a half years.
It would also cap a remarkable comeback from the Czech following the knife attack she suffered at her home in 2016.