It will be the pair's 47th meeting, an ATP Tour record, with the head-to-head count now standing at 23 wins apiece. Djokovic will aim to retain the Australian Open crown in Melbourne where he has won half of his 10 major titles. What can I say? "It could have gone either way, but I stayed tough and fought through it". "[Mayer] started better in both the first and second sets", Djokovic said, reports the ATP's official website .
It has to be an encouraging sign for Nadal that he hasn't suffered a loss against a player who is of a lesser caliber than he. "This is exactly how I want to start the year, playing in the finals of the first tournament against one of my biggest rivals and I'm looking forward to that", Djokovic said.
Nadal will next take on 94th-ranked Ukrainian Illya Marchenko, who upset Spain's David Ferrer in the first round and continued his surprise run this week by taking out France's Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday. "I played against a player who did everything flawless", Nadal said. "It appears time to time, but it's nothing that really is major that I will be concerned about".
The series is now tied 23-all, with Djokovic winning the past four matches. They have faced each other in the final of all four grand slams. Nadal refused to describe his match against Marchenko as flawless but it certainly appeared like it was from the stands.
The Serbian beat his Spanish opponent 6-1 6-2, a result which also means the 28-year-old now leads their head-to-head 24-23. World No. 1 tennis player, Novak Djokovic, has certainly been the most dominant player in the recent years. So he's been trying to, of course, change something, improve, and it's no surprise to me. "So I just congratulate him and that's it. I know I can do a few things better, but the real thing is, with these conditions playing during the night and with the feeling ...
The head-to-head, though, belied the current state-of-play between the two top seeds. It can be argued he lost the match mentally for as the decider wore on Djokovic complained bitterly about the slippery state of the court, saying it needed watering on what was a scorching Paris day.