Novak Djokovic crushes Lucas Pouille to reach Australian Open men's final
Djokovic can claim the outright record for Australian Open wins ahead of six-time title holders Roger Federer and Roy Emerson if he lifts the Norman Brookes trophy on Sunday
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 25/01/19 3:28pm
On the hottest day in Melbourne for eight years, a red-hot Novak Djokovic stormed into Sunday's Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal with a tennis masterclass against Lucas Pouille.
Top-seeded Djokovic, contesting his 34th career Grand Slam semi-final, pursuing a record seventh championship at Melbourne Park and 15th major trophy overall, made just five unforced errors as he destroyed 28th-seeded Pouille 6-0 6-2 6-2 to reach the showpiece event once again.
Djokovic said: "It's definitely one of the best matches I ever had on this court. Everything worked the way I'd imagined it and even more so. Tough one for Lucas but he had a great tournament and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season."
The 24-year-old Frenchman, who is coached by two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo, had never experienced a Grand Slam semi-final before and it showed in a 23-minute opening set as Djokovic whitewashed his practice partner.
Pouille, who had never won a match at Melbourne Park before this year in five previous appearances, got on the board to make it 1-1, showing a bit of the form that got him here with two fine passing shots.
A packed Rod Laver Arena were desperate to see a contest but Pouille's first-serve percentage dropped alarmingly, while a series of errors was harming his chances of a recovery.
A third double fault from the Frenchman saw him drop serve once more to trail 3-1 and, when Djokovic broke again to take the second set 6-2, Pouille was staring at one of the most one-sided losses in Grand Slam semi-final history.
The Serb seemed to have all the answers and he let out a huge roar on his way to a breakthrough in the fourth game of the third set, and it was soon job done in one hour and 23 minutes as Djokovic charged into the 24th Grand Slam final of his career.
Djokovic will now take on a rampant Nadal, who has not dropped his serve for an astonishing 63 straight games and has not lost a set on his way to the decider.
It will be their 53rd meeting overall with Djokovic leading the head-to-head record 27-25. They last met in the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year with the Serb winning a five-set thriller.
Recalling the five-hour and 53-minute marathon he won over Nadal in the 2012 final, Djokovic said: "I would definitely buy the ticket for that match. That's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hopefully the outcome can be the same for me."
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