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Sports

Australian Open: Djokovic smashes Pouille to reach final

media Novak Djokovic is seeking a record seventh Australian Open singles title. Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Novak Djokovic has advanced to the final of the Australian Open after pulverising the 28th seed Lucas Pouille. The Serb crushed the Frenchman 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a final on Sunday in Melbourne against the second seed Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic committed only five unforced errors during the 82 minute annihilation on Rod Laver Arena.

"It was one of the best matches I have had on this court," Djokovic told former world number one Jim Courier during the on-court interview.

"Everything that I imagined before the match worked."

Pouille, 24, had never reached the semi-final at a Grand Slam event and his callowness showed. He was tentative in his exchanges allowing Djokovic to spray the ball around the court.

Djokovic had won seven consecutive games before the debutant got on the board after 32 minutes of play to make it 1-1 in the second set.

Pouille was soon in trouble though as the Serb won three consecutive games to lead 4-1.

Djokovic waltz

Despite holding his serve to trail 2-4, there was no fightback. Djokovic surged again to wrap up the set 6-2 .

Even though Pouille held his serve to level at 1-1 in the third set, there was no tactical shift to suggest that he could or would quell the storm.

Djokovic broke to lead 3-1 and 20 minutes later, a backhand into the base of the net on match point epitomised Pouille's miserable outing.

Nadal should pose a few more problems on Sunday in what will be their 53rd career meeting.

The Spaniard has been in imperious form and has not dropped a set on his way to his fifth final in Melbourne. Djokovic will go into their latest clash with a slight edge.

He won their last meeting – the 2018 Wimbledon semi-final in five sets – and seven years ago in the final in Melbourne, he beat Nadal 7-5 in the fifth after five hours and 53 minutes.

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