Rafael Nadal was a player to beat in 2019, securing four Major and Masters 1000 titles and lifting the Davis Cup Finals trophy with his teammates in Madrid. Nadal did not reach the semi-final only twice that year, and he did enough to clinch the year-end no.
1 honor for the fifth time at 33. Things did not look bright for Rafa in the opening four months, recovering from an injury that forced him to skip the final stages of 2018 due to a knee injury and struggling to win the title.
Before three straight semi-final losses on his beloved clay, the Spaniard experienced his most brutal defeat in the Major finals in Melbourne, losing to Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes. Nadal did not lose a set before the title match, suffering only two breaks in six encounters and looking good to win the Australian Open ten years after he did that for the first tim
Novak had the advantage over Rafa until the closing stages of 2019, losing ground at the US Open and allowing the Spaniard to secure the fifth year-end no. 1 honor. Eager to bounce back, Djokovic stormed over all the opponents at the ATP Cup at the beginning of 2020 to earn valuable 665 ATP points and reduce the deficit over Nadal, whom he beat in the title clash.
Carried by this boost, the Serb went on to conquer his eighth Australian Open title, leaving Australia with massive 2665 points on his tally and replacing the Spaniard on the ATP throne. It was Djokovic's 17th Major crown, moving him two behind Nadal and giving him a boost to push even harder in the rest of the season before the pandemic ruined his plans.
Thiem led two sets to one before Djokovic shifted into a higher gear to claim the next two and prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in four hours. Speaking about the final, Nadal admitted he would have preferred if Thiem had lifted the trophy.
However, he was good with this outcome as well, saying Novak is the world's best player at the moment and congratulating him on another Major title. "I would have preferred if Thiem had won the Australian Open. But, to be honest, I slept just as well for the last two days, even without that.
It doesn't matter who was the winner, Dominik or Novak; it's part of our sport. Novak played an amazing tournament, being the best player in the world at the moment. All I can do is congratulate him on another huge success," Rafael Nadal said.
For more updates, please follow us on Isports247.net!
Catch Trending score updates on Isports247.net!