Djokovic vs Nadal, 5 hours and 53 minutes of relentlessly gruelling tennis

A decade ago we witnessed one of the greatest Grand Slam finals to ever take place. The final broke a record that stood since 1988 when Mats Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl in five sets lasting 4 hours and 54 minutes.

Djokovic and Nadal went further, 5 hours and 53 minutes of relentless tennis saw the Serbian win 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5. Djokovic had already spent a lot of time on court having won in five sets against Murray in 4 hours and 50 minutes taking his tally to over 11 hours for two tennis matches against two of the best in the game.

In a gruelling first set it was the Spaniard who broke first and it was at a pivotal time too winning the first set 7-5. Djokovic recovered well with an early break in the second however having squandered that lead he needed another break of serve to seal the set 6-4.

The third was pretty much one way traffic, on paper a 6-2 set looks pretty straight forward but it lasted for 45 minutes averaging over 5 and 1/2 minutes.

As the match begun to race into the night it did look like Djokovic would seal the win in four sets, in the fourth set tie-breaker the Serbian led 5-3, he was two points from winning his third Australian Open title.

Nadal turned it around winning four consecutive points to win the second set 7-6 (7-5).

In the fifth it was anyones game. Up 3-2 the Spaniard broke serve to take a 4-2 lead and would serve to get to 5-2, but it was never going to be easy. Djokovic recovered immediately to level the set and up 6-5 broke Nadal for the final time to win the longest Grand Slam Final in history finishing at 1:37am in what Nadal described as the toughest loss of his career.

After the match Djokovic said:

“It was obvious on the court for everybody who has watched the match that both of us, physically, we took the last drop of energy that we had from our bodies, we made history tonight and unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners”

Neither play could stand through the trophy presentation as chairs were brought on following their epic battle.

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