Djokovic inflicts humbling defeat on Nadal in Melbourne

Nadal and Djokovic pose with their trophies after the final.
Nadal and Djokovic pose with their trophies after the final. / AFP
  • The Spaniard lost against his old rival in the Australian Open final in three sets - a career first

World number one Novak Djokovic surprised everyone in Sunday's Australian Open final by racing to a resounding 6-3 6-2 6-3 victory over eternal rival Rafa Nadal to seal a record seventh victory in the tournament.

The Serb overtook Roger Federer and Roy Emerson (on six each), while in the process dishing out the first ever three-set defeat in a final for Nadal, who looked out of sorts and committed 28 unforced errors during the clash, putting paid to the idea that it would be a tight final.

But despite not dropping a set on his way to the final, Nadal's lack of match practice (he had not played competitively since the US Open in September because of injury) meant that he was ultimately not up to the standard required to topple Djokovic who currently has three Grand Slams in his possession.

"Even though tonight was not my night, it was very important for me in coming back from injury," said Nadal following the final. "I believe I played a good two weeks of tennis and it is a great energy and inspiration for what is coming. I will keep fighting and keep practising to give myself better chances in the future."