World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won his 9th Australian Open title in the finals on Sunday. He defeated Danill Medvedev in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
The Serb’s 7-5 6-2 6-2 triumph at the Rod Laver Arena secured the 18th Grand Slam title of his career, bringing him within tantalising reach of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s all-time record of 20.
Djokovic broke Medvedev’s 20-match winning run in emphatic fashion. The 33-year-old, who improved to 18-0 in the semi-final and final clashes at the Australian Open, also gained revenge for his 6-3, 6-3 loss to the Russian at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals. Now, Djokovic owns a 5-3 ATP Head2Head advantage against Medvedev.
“On the court, Daniil is one of the toughest players I have ever faced in my life. It’s only a matter of time before you hold a Grand Slam trophy,” Djokovic said, in the trophy ceremony. “If you can wait a few more years, I’d appreciate it. It’s amazing that he has put together a 20-match winning streak over the past few months.”
The Serbian made a quick start to his championship match at Melbourne Park. In less than 10 minutes, he charged into a 3-0 lead, as he returned with depth and capitalised on three Medvedev forehand errors to break serve at 1-0. Despite an immediate response from his Russian opponent, Djokovic rushed Medvedev at 6-5 with aggressive forehands and landed a backhand passing shot winner up the line to earn three set points. He converted his third opportunity when Medvedev fired a forehand into the net.
Djokovic’s confidence continued to grow throughout the third set and Medvedev could not find a way through his opponent’s defence. On his first championship point, Djokovic charged to the net and struck an overhead winner to clinch the trophy.
“Congratulations to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia and 18 in total is an amazing thing and it is probably not your last one,” Medvedev said, in the trophy ceremony. When the latest FedEx ATP Rankings are published on Monday, Medvedev will rise above 2020 runner-up Dominic Thiem, a career-high World No. 3, as a result of his run to the championship match.
In the second round, Djokovic secured a four-set win against Frances Tiafoe. He survived an abdominal injury scare but managed to defeat Taylor Fritz in five sets in the third round. He was also pushed to four sets by Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev on his way to the semi-finals.
“I think it was a very successful tournament and I’d like to praise (tournament director) Craig Tiley for a tremendous effort,” Djokovic said. “It was challenging on many different levels and Tennis Australia should be very proud for making it possible,” he remarked.