Melbourne, Jan 25 (IANS) Serbias number one seed Novak Djokovic defeated Frances Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the final of the Australian Open, where he will face second seed Rafael Nadal of Spain.
The World No.1 moved past Pouille with minimum fuss, producing a professional and clinical performance to seal his place in the title clash, reports Efe.
He broke the 28th seed’s serve at the first opportunity, bossing the first set without dropping a game.
The Frenchman began the second set stronger, initially holding serve, but the world number one soon broke him again before holding his own serve to open up a 4-1 lead before going on to win the set.
The third set followed the same pattern, as Pouille admirably fought on despite the obvious gulf in class with the world number one, who sealed the set after once again breaking the Frenchman’s serve.
The 24-year-old, who had never gone beyond the quarterfinal stage of a Grand Slam, struggled throughout the match, littering his service games with unforced errors. He ended the match with 27 errors, while the Serb hit just five.
Djokovic outclassed and outplayed the French number three, who appeared to run out of steam after playing in four matches in the past fortnight of at least four sets, including one five-setter in the round of 32.
“It’s one of the best matches I ever had on this court. Definitely. Everything worked the way I imagined it before the match, and even more so,” Djokovic said on court afterwards.
“Tough one for Lucas but he had a great tournament and best of luck for the rest of the season. He definitely has the quality to be a top-10 player.”
The world number one had reached the semis after his opponent in the quarterfinal, eighth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan, was forced to retire due to injury midway through the second set when the Serb was leading 6-1, 4-1.
Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic, who will face second seed Rafael Nadal on Sunday, has not lost in any of his previous six appearances in the Australian Open final.