The Australian Open men’s final of Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic is a strong possibility with both men now in the final four of the event. Both play first time finalists with Nadal playing Stefanos Tsitsipas while Djokovic is up against the Frenchman Lucas Pouille. Pouille would be the first Frenchman in an Australian Open final since 2008, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was defeat by Djokovic for his first title. Check out the Djokovic vs Pouille H2H stats.
Having demolished Alexander Zverev in the previous round, Milos Raonic was the overwhelming favourite to advance against Pouille in the quarter finals. However, the Frenchman put up a great performance to pull off the shock win in four sets. It’s back to back impressive wins for him against top 20 seeds after almost blowing a 2-0 lead against Alexei Popyrin last week. He broke three times and got into a number of service games despite Raonic’s 25 aces overall. This fortnight has been a revelation for Pouille, who didn’t have the greatest time in the second half of 2018 – falling from 11 to just outside the top 30.
Djokovic picked up yet another win against Kei Nishikori, with the Japanese star retiring with the score at 6-1 4-1 due to a thigh issue. He was cruising from the start against an opponent who had played 5 hours in his previous match. He is now 19 matches into a slam winning streak and many are tipping him to take that to 21 and beyond.
Djokovic is not being complacent despite the odds being heavily in his favour against an opponent who has not played this far into a slam before. “I’m looking forward for a battle, obviously,” Djokovic said. “It’s his first semifinal at a Slam, but he has won against (Rafael) Nadal in New York some years ago, and he has taken a couple of scalps at the big tournaments, so he’s not afraid to play his best on the biggest stages in our sport.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets