MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Dominic Thiem knows what it’s like to make it all the way through the rigors of a half-dozen best-of-five-set matches across two weeks in order to reach a Grand Slam final — only to run into that particular tournament’s greatest champion. It’s happening to Thiem at the Australian Open, where he will face defending champion Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday. Just like it happened to Thiem at the French Open, where he was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal each of the past two years. Djokovic already owns a record seven trophies from the hard courts of Melbourne Park. So far, he is a combined 15-0 in semifinals and finals in Rod Laver Arena. “It’s absolutely his comfort zone here,” Thiem said. Nadal has been even more prolific on the red clay of Roland Garros, going 24-0 in the last two rounds en route to his 12 championships there. Nadal is known as the “King of Clay,” so Thiem joked after beating No. 7 seed Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) in the semifinals Also at stake for Djokovic on Sunday will be a 17th Grand Slam trophy overall, which would push him… Read full this story
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