The 2019 Australian Open final is upon as two legends of tennis will face off. Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal is the final, with the world #2 Spaniard Nadal a slight underdog against the world #1 Serbian Djokovic. Our panelists offer up their predictions for this battle of Grand Slam champions.
Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
Steen Kirby: These players met twice last year and split meetings, with Nadal winning on clay and Djokovic on grass, as one would expect. They have not met on a hard court since 2016, but Djokovic has won the last 7 meetings on that surface. The surface advantage makes Djokovic the favorite, but form favors Rafa. He’s taken an aggressive approach to this AO and it’s paid off. Djokovic has been great but there are more chinks in the armor. If Nadal can find his groove early and take the first set he’ll have a chance, but the conventional wisdom favors Novak for a reason. Djokovic in 4
Yesh Ginsburg: The two best players in the world right now are each in top form. We should be treated to one heck of a match. The two are separated by the tiniest of margins, so I’ll go with the one who is (barely) better on hard courts. Djokovic in 5
Eric Han: This is a tough match to predict, but my gut instinct tells me Djokovic will win this match in five sets, simply because Djokovic has beaten Nadal so many times on a hard court and here in Melbourne, so Djokovic already has gained a mental advantage without the match having started. Djokovic in 5
Ryan Schick: Novak Djokovic is the top player in the world, has won this tournament 6 times, and is arguably the best hard court player ever. However, he has not been the best player this tournament. Rafa Nadal has been absolutely flawless in reaching the final without dropping a set. Novak has also looked excellent but Nadal’s form in addition to his extra day of rest will give him just enough to win the title. Nadal in 4
Brett Margolies: Djokovic and Nadal will meet in the finals of a grand slam for the first time since the 2014 French Open which Nadal won. Both players are playing great at the moment which makes for entertaining tennis, but it’s so hard to go against Novak Djokovic on a hard court, even against someone as good as Nadal. I think Nadal will keep it close, but Djokovic almost looks unbeatable right now. Djokovic in 4