Tennis

Two legends are about to go head-to-head for the first Grand Slam of 2019.

Tennis legends cast their predictions on Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal at Australian Open

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Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic faces Rafael Nadal for match 53 in their career in the final of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne. 

The Metro predict that history will be on the line with Djokovic aiming to move beyond Roger Federer and Roy Emerson's total of six Australian Open titles.

However, if Nadal is successful, he will become the first man in the Open era to win every major tournament twice or more.

The last meeting between Djokovic and Nadal at the Australian Open was in 2012 in the final that is officially the longest Grand Slam final in history. 

Some of tennis' biggest legends have predicted the overall winner of tomorrow's encounter, and their opinions prove just how tight it will be.

Metro spoke to six former winners, and this is what they had to say.

Rod Laver predicted that the match could go on for a while, saying: "It could be a long match, I think Nadal and Novak have proved they are the best two players on the planet.

"I saw the match with Novak last night, he played beautifully last night, then again so did Rafa the night before.

"It will be a close tussle. I’m leaning towards Nadal – but for no reason."

2019 Australian Open - Day 11

Ivan Lendl has also predicted that the match will be a very close contest, saying: "Can’t answer that question. It’s a very close one. It’s very evenly matched and to predict, I can’t.

"You have both guys who are winning zillions of majors, who are winning tough matches and I’m normally not shy about saying I think this guy has an edge or that guy has an edge but in my mind it’s very, very close."

Lindsay Davenport predicts that the match favours Djokovic, but Nadal has been playing amazing throughout the tournament.

She also predicts that the final will be quite competitive between both players, saying: "It seems the match up favours Novak with the backhand, he can handle that forehand but Rafa has played amazing.

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

"It seems like Novak has a slight mental edge over Rafa. If Novak wins he is going for the career Slam again and I think he is always trying to set himself apart from the other two and not been able to do it with total Grand Slams won, obviously holding all four set him apart, now can he do it twice?

"It’s kind of crazy considering where he was last year."

Pat Cash also predicts that Djokovic will win and has stated that recent history dictates that.

"If you go on recent history, I think you’ve got to say Novak he’s in the form.

2019 Australian Open - Day 7

"Rafa hasn’t had a lot of matches and not had a lot of pushes in this tournament – which is could when you’re coming back from ankle surgery, of course.

"You also need some fitness and he hasn’t really been tested. Since the US Open he hasn’t played for more than a couple of hours.

"Rafa not having a big pre-season means it will be interesting to see how it goes. It will be a great test."

Roy Emerson predicts that it will be a great scrap in the final between both Djokovic and Nadal.

COMBO-TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

He said: "I do not want Djokovic to win the match. I don't have that many records to brag about.

"I’m pulling for Nadal. He is really firing and playing well, he had some running forehands the other which were remarkable.

"I’m looking for a great scrap and it’s good to have a final like that."

And lastly, Mats Wilander predicts that the match will go in the favour of Djokovic, but thinks that it will be a close match between the two rivals.

COMBO-TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

"I think we haven’t seen the best of Rafa even though he’s playing great, I think he can press even harder than he’s done and I feel like Novak is not in a situation where he feels like he has to press at all. He’s just too good. You can’t beat him. That’s the way I would be feeling if I was Novak."

An exciting match that will bring all the thrills and spills of a tennis match into one game. The match is always a cracker and should be entertaining. 

Topics:
Australian Open
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Tennis

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