Jan 29, 2023 at 12:42 Update: 3 minutes ago
Novak Djokovic tied Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam record on Sunday by winning the Australian Open for the tenth time. The all-powerful Serbian was too strong for the Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás in the final in Melbourne: 6-3, 7-6 (4) and 7-6 (5).
Due to his tenth overall victory at the Australian Open, Djokovic now has 22 Grand Slam titles on his honors list. ‘The Djoker’ equals Nadal, who won a major for the 22nd time at Roland Garros last year. Defending champion Nadal suffered an injury at this Australian Open and stranded in the second round.
Djokovic, who now has more ATP titles than Nadal (93 to 92), won the Australian Open for the first time in 2008 and was also the best in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Last year, the tennis legend was not allowed to participate in the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
In the run-up to the Australian Open, Djokovic already showed his form by winning the ATP tournament in Adelaide. His last defeat on Australian soil still dates from January 2018, when he was defeated by South Korean Chung Hyeon in the round of 16 of the Australian Open.
It is not unimportant that Djokovic can call himself the number one in the world again from Monday. The Serbian last topped the world ranking in June 2022. He started the Australian Open ranked number five in the world.
Tsitsipás played the final of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time and again he met Djokovic on the other side of the net. The Greek led by two sets in the 2021 Roland Garros final, but went down in five sets.
Novak Djokovic let his emotions run wild after securing his 22 Grand Slam title. Photo: Getty Images
Djokovic shows that he is in a class of his own in Australia
Djokovic was the top favorite for the title and left no misunderstanding about that in the first games of the final. The sovereign Serb looked eager, forced Tsitsipás to make mistakes and soon got his first breakpoints. Tsitsipás survived two in his first service game, but was broken at 1-2 by a double fault.
At times it was impressive what Djokovic showed in the Rod Laver Arena, where he had to do without the support of his father. Srdjan Djokovic caused a sensation by posing with supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Melbourne this week and left for home. Just like in the semi-finals, it did not affect Djokovic’s game; the Serb was sovereign in his service games and won the first set.
In the second set, Tsitsipás got into his game a bit better. The Greek remained upright in his services and saw the irritations increase with Djokovic, who was released with a fright at 3-3 after a fall. At 4-5, Tsitsipás suddenly got a set point, but Djokovic brushed it away with a nice winner. Everything looked like Tsitsipás would win the set, but it didn’t come to that. Djokovic took a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak and could even afford some mistakes on his way to winning the set.
Despite that damper, Tsitsipás continued his good form in the second set in the third company. The Greek immediately broke Djokovic, although he could not enjoy it for long, Djokovic showed his class by leveling the score. It was typical for the final: Tsitsipás played properly, but faced an almost flawless tennis legend.
Djokovic, who scored no fewer than four love games in the third set, immediately took the initiative in the tiebreak by taking the first five points. Tsitsipás knocked away the first two match points, but had no chance with Djokovic’s third chance. The Serb secured his coveted 22nd Grand Slam title and rushed to his players’ box, where he released all the pent-up emotions of the past year.
Beeld: Getty Images
Read more about:
TennisAustralian OpenNovak DjokovicStéfanos Tsitsipás
Leave a Reply