BEVERLY HILLS, February 21, (THEWILL) – Tennis world number one player Novak Djokovic, on Sunday, won an overly impressive ninth Australian Open title, brushing aside the challenge mounted by a Russian opponent Daniil Medvedev. The lopsided final was wrapped up in straight sets 7-5 6-2 6-2 at Melbourne Park and included Djokovic breaking Medvedev’s serve seven times over the course of the match.
It was another sure defense of his title by the 33-year-old, playing an immensely incredible tennis game of serving and counter-punching from his favourite position deep in the baseline as Medvedev’s equally impressive run of 20 successive wins came to an abrupt end against the best men’s tennis player in the world.
The win marks yet another remarkable triumph for the Serb. It takes Djokovic’s haul to a staggering 18 Grand Slam titles, carrying him to within sniffing distance of the tallies racked up by rivals Swiss Roger Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal, by only two Slams.
The ferocious first set of the finals was a blast of thrilling entertainment for the raucous crowd on Rod Laver Arena and they responded by roaring the pair on. The tension in the court was so intense, a knife could have cut through as both players exchanged breaks of serve with passioned commitment. But, Djokovic broke Medvedev’s serve to take the opening set 7-5.
Though the Russian banished his frustration at squandering the opening set by breaking immediately at the start of the second, Djokovic again showed admirable concentration to storm back with two successive breaks of serve and re-stamp his authority on the match at a crucial point.
As intense as the play, so was the raucous participation of the crowd. Indeed, both players at times got frustrated by the relentless noise on Rod Laver Arena when it threatened to cut into their ability to focus. Once, the top seed even intervened to plead with the excited fans for silence on the serve of Medvedev.
The dominance of the second set by Djokovic continued in the third, which the number one player began with a crucial early break of serve. This ascendancy over the Russian was as complete as it was shocking for Medvedev because he had been on a good run heading into the final and was supposed to provide a tougher resistance against the Serb than what was playing out on court.
There was not much he could do, or any other player actually, when Djokovic was in this mood and playing such faultless game of tennis with utter relentless precision. After the first set, Medvedev never saw another glimmer of an opportunity as Djokovic seized control of the match when it mattered and did not back down.
Djokovic continued his ruthless dominance until the end as he sealed a surprisingly straightforward victory over a player who has repeatedly threatened of late to break through at a major. In his post-match comments, the Serb showed his appreciation for a tournament where he was most successful.
“I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much.”
He also gave his respects to his co-finalist: “On the court, he’s [Medvedev] definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life. It’s a matter of time when you hold a Grand Slam that’s for sure. If you don’t mind waiting a few more years.”
Medvedev responded: “It’s never easy to speak when you just lost a final of a Grand Slam. But I’ll try to do my best, better than on court I hope.”
“First of all congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia. 18 in total is amazing and probably not your last one. I have no words to say.”