Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal's most memorable matches ahead of Australian Open final
Five memorable battles between two tennis gladiators
Last Updated: 27/01/19 9:31am
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will clash for the 53rd time in the Australian Open final on Sunday.
Djokovic leads 27-25 and is looking to win a 15th Grand Slam title, while Nadal can close to within two of Roger Federer's all-time record with a second victory at Melbourne Park.
Here, we pick out five of their most memorable battles.
2009, Madrid Masters final, Nadal won 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (11-9)
The Caja Magica was the venue for one of the greatest three-set matches in men's tennis history. Djokovic was bidding for his first win over Nadal on clay and held three match points but, after four hours and two minutes, it was the Spaniard who came out on top.
2010, US Open final, Nadal won 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2
Their first major final clash saw Nadal win in four sets to complete the career Grand Slam. Djokovic had won an epic semi-final against Roger Federer and in the end could not quite match his rival, while, perhaps in an omen for this tournament, strong serving from the Spaniard was a key factor.
2012, Australian Open final, Djokovic won 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
Even if Sunday's clash had not dragged this match back into the limelight, it was a contest that cannot be forgotten. The two men battled each other to exhaustion over five hours and 53 minutes, the longest Grand Slam final in history. Chairs were brought out so they did not have to stand during the trophy ceremony.
2013, French Open semi-final, Nadal won 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 9-7
Djokovic had been getting closer to Nadal at Roland Garros and this was the match that saw them meet as equals. Djokovic led by a break in the decider as he chased the title he wanted more than any other but was penalised for leaning over the net at a key moment and could not hold on.
2018, Wimbledon semi-final, Djokovic won 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 10-8
Their most recent clash was another classic played over two days because of the epic battle between Kevin Anderson and John Isner that preceded it. When play was called off for the night, Djokovic had won a third set he looked set to lose, and the Serb saved break points late in the decider.
Djokovic vs Nadal: Tale of the Tape
|Marian Vajda||COACH||Carlos Moya|
|6ft 2in||HEIGHT||6ft 1in|
|$125.8million||CAREER PRIZE MONEY||$103.3million|
|14||GRAND SLAM TITLES||17|
|Winner (2008/11/12/13/15/16)||AUSTRALIAN OPEN BEST||Winner (2009)|
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