Tennis

“Maybe Novak Djokovic can send the trophy”

Rafael Nadal claimed two Australian Open titles in 2009 and 2022. The Spaniard lost four Melbourne finals in between, including an epic one to Novak Djokovic in 2012. Two legends battled for five hours and 53 minutes before Novak prevailed 5- 7, 6- 4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5, lifting the trophy in the longest Major final ever!

Nadal and Casper Ruud are in Buenos Aires, kicking off their South American tour. The young Norwegian spoke about the 2012 Australian Open final and said he was probably more devastated than Rafa when the Spaniard lost, sitting in front of the television for six hours.

Nadal was Ruud’s idol and he wanted to see him win the title. Rafa enjoyed this conversation and joked about asking Novak Djokovic to send him the trophy. Rafa gave it his all to dominate Novak in the fourth set and force a decider.

Fueled by this momentum, the Spaniard carved out a 4-2, 30-15 lead in the final set before missing a routine backhand that likely cost him his second Australian Open title. Djokovic created 20 break point chances, converting seven and dropping serve four times.

The Serb had more winners and forced more errors, carving out his victory in the mid-range exchanges as nothing could separate them in the longer, faster exchanges.

Casper Ruud cheered on Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic in 2012.

They needed 40 minutes to complete the first six games.

Nadal led 4-2 before Djokovic claimed the next three games to open a gap to 5-4. The Spaniard got another break at 5-5 when Novak sent a long backhand and converted his third set point into his next for 7-5 after one hour and 20 minutes.

Novak responded with a break in the tenth game of the second set after Rafa’s costly double fault. Thus, the Serbian leveled the overall score at 1-1, almost two and a half hours from the start of the match. With momentum on his side, Djokovic won the third set 6-2 and moved closer to the finish line, hoping to seal the deal in the fourth.

Instead, Nadal fought on and clinched it on the tiebreaker after almost 90 minutes to send the match to a decider. Rafa missed that chance to open a gap to 5-2 and allowed Novak to drop back. The Serb secured another break at 5-5 when the Spaniard scored a cut.

Serving for the win in game 12, Djokovic saved a break point and sealed the deal with a forehand winner to celebrate one of his brightest moments on the tennis court.

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