Novak Djokovic wins record-extending ninth Australian Open title

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Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open dominance is unbroken _ 9 finals, 9 championships.

And he retains gaining on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal within the Grand Slam standings, now as much as 18 general, two away from the boys’s report shared by his two rivals.

Djokovic used excellent serving and his typical relentless returning and baseline excellence to seize 11 of 13 video games in a single stretch and beat a visibly pissed off Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday for a 3rd trophy in a row at Melbourne Park.

The 33-year-old from Serbia improved to 18-0 mixed in semifinals and finals on the exhausting courts of the Australian Open.

Looking on the greater image, Djokovic has received six of the final 10 main tournaments and is assured of remaining at No. 1 within the rankings at the least via March 8. That will give him 311 weeks within the prime spot, breaking a mark held by Federer.

The No. 4-ranked Medvedev was showing in his second Grand Slam remaining _ he was the runner-up to Nadal on the 2019 U.S. Open _ however continues to be left making an attempt accumulate his first such championship.

Djokovic ended the 25-year-old Russian’s 20-match profitable streak. Medvedev additionally had received his earlier 12 matches in opposition to Top 10 opponents.

But going up in opposition to Djokovic in Australia is a a lot totally different problem.

By the second set, as issues slipped away, Medvedev bounced his white racket off the blue courtroom, then completely destroyed it with a full-on spike. By the third, he stored wanting up at his coach with palms up as if to ask, “What can I possibly do here?”

It is a well-recognized sentiment on this stadium, on this courtroom, at this match. Federer, Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem _ all Grand Slam champions, all defeated by Djokovic in semifinals or finals in Melbourne.

So place the 9 triumphs in Australia alongside 5 at Wimbledon, three on the U.S. Open and one on the French Open for Djokovic.

The math appears to be like good for Djokovic. He is a few yr youthful than Nadal and 6 1/2 youthful than Federer, who turns 40 in August. Federer hasn’t competed in additional than a yr after having two knee operations however is predicted to show to the tour subsequent month.

On a cool, cloudy night, an occasion delayed three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic concluded with an introduced attendance of seven,426 at Rod Laver Arena. Spectators had been barred fully for 5 days earlier within the match due to an area COVID-19 lockdown, however they finally had been let again in at 50% capability.

A majority favored Djokovic on Sunday, so loads of choruses of his nickname rang out _ “No-le, No-le, No-le!” _ and Serbian flags dotted the stands, flapping in a swirling breeze.

Medvedev’s flat, wrap-the-racket-around-his-neck forehand was iffy at first, lacking huge, lengthy and into the web within the preliminary 10 minutes. Djokovic grabbed 13 of the match’s preliminary 16 factors and a fast 3-0 lead.

Soon sufficient, although, it was 3-all, as a result of Medvedev cleaned up his errors, whereas Djokovic faltered a bit, getting damaged after a recreation during which he flubbed a drop shot, then an overhead, probably the most evident _ solely? _ weak spot in his recreation.

But from 5-all, Djokovic stepped up, and Medvedev stepped again. Djokovic held at love, then broke to say the set when Medvedev slapped a forehand into the web simply after somebody within the crowd known as out through the level.

There had been frequent prolonged exchanges on the baseline, each males able to overlaying the courtroom effectively sufficient to swallow up one another’s potential point-ending photographs. Medvedev hardly ever strayed from the again of the courtroom except lured ahead by considered one of Djokovic’s comparatively frequent drop photographs.

Djokovic started the second set with a fault into the web, then shook out his left arm and flexed his shoulders. That level ended with him lacking a backhand into the web, and he hunched up his shoulders and stared over at his visitor field. Another netted backhand gifted Medvedev a break and a 1-0 lead.

Signs of hassle? Not for lengthy.

There might need been purpose to consider Djokovic was only a tad extra inclined this time round.

First of all, he wrenched his midsection throughout a slip within the third spherical in opposition to American Taylor Fritz; after that win, Djokovic mentioned he had torn a muscle, however by the point he performed his semifinal, he declared himself pain-free.

Plus, getting into Sunday, Djokovic already had ceded 5 units via six matches, probably the most he had dropped in any Grand Slam match en path to a remaining.

This was his twenty eighth main remaining, even with Nadal for the second-most by a person in tennis historical past, trailing Federer’s 31.

The excessive expertise hole definitely appeared to indicate. One instance: Medvedev instantly gave again that early break within the second set by relinquishing two of his personal service video games back-to-back.

Djokovic broke in half of Medvedev’s 14 service video games, received 73% of the factors when his personal first serves went in and 58% on seconds. And Djokovic performed so cleanly, with simply 17 unforced errors; Medvedev made 13.

When it ended, after fewer than two hours, Djokovic dropped to his again on the courtroom, limbs splayed. He has mentioned he feels at dwelling on the place, and he isn’t able to relinquish possession.

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