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Djokovic inflicts crushing defeat Pouille to set up final with Nadal

Novak Djokovic will play Rafael Nadal for the 53rd time in the Australian Open final on Sunday after crushing Lucas Pouille. Credit: PA

Novak Djokovic will play Rafael Nadal for the 53rd time in the Australian Open final on Sunday after crushing Lucas Pouille for the loss of only four games.

Of the world number one's 24 grand slam semi-final victories, only the one over an injured Marin Cilic at the US Open in 2015 was more comprehensive than this 6-0 6-2 6-2 demolition, which lasted just an hour and 23 minutes.

Frenchman Pouille, who had never faced Djokovic before, had made it through to the last four of a slam for the first time but was left helpless in the face of such a brilliant performance.

Djokovic said: "It's definitely one of the best matches I ever had on this court. Everything worked the way I'd imagined it and even more so. Tough one for Lucas but he had a great tournament and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season."

The narrative at the start of the tournament was supposed to be about the next generation making their mark, but Djokovic and Nadal conceded just 10 games in the semi-finals between them.

The considerable consolation is that the stage is now set for another chapter in one of the great tennis rivalries, and their first slam final since the 2014 French Open.

Djokovic takes a 27-25 lead into the contest having won their last meeting in typically epic fashion in the last four at Wimbledon last summer. The last time they met here, meanwhile, in the final in 2012, Djokovic won after five hours and 53 minutes in the longest slam final in history.