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Novak Djokovic wins record 10th Australian Open crown after decimating Stefanos Tsitsipas

First Published: 29th January, 2023 17:42 IST

Affirming his status as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Novak Djokovic decimated higher-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to win his 10th Australian Open crown

From being deported last year to standing on the top step of the podium with the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup in his hands in Melbourne, Novak Djokovic completed a remarkable comeback to reign supreme once again at his favourite hunting ground. 15 years after winning his maiden crown at Melbourne Park, the Serb became the first man to win the Australian Open crown 10 times in his career.

Novak Djokovic, the 4th seed, completed a stunning fortnight of tennis in Melbourne to take his Grand Slam tally to 22, equalling Rafael Nadal’s record for the most major titles won in men’s singles tennis.

Roger Federer, who was the first man to achieve 20 Grand Slam titles retired last year, while Nadal is batting injury issues, which were evident in his 2nd-round exit in Melbourne. However, Djokovic, who seems to be aging like fine wine, is hungry for more.

Djokovic also became only the 2nd man after Rafael Nadal (14 at the French Open) to win at least 10 titles at a single Grand Slam tournament.

And Djokovic continued his perfect record at the Australian Open finals, extending his winning run at Melbourne Park to 28. Djokovic will be rewarded for his unreal show in Melbourne with a return to the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings on Monday.

DJOKE OF A FINAL!

It was a spotless performance against 24-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was unable to stop the winning machine that steamrolled opponents after overcoming a hamstring injury scare earlier in the tournament. The 35-year-old was switched on from the word go and broke into Tsitsipas’s resolve, neutralising the Greek star’s forehand that had troubled others before it met the wall.

Djokovic needed just 2 hours and 56 minutes to beat Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the men’s singles final on Sunday.

2 years ago, Djokovic had to fight back from 2 sets down, a match that he doesn’t remember, in the Roland Garros final to win his second clay-court Grand Slam crown. On Sunday, he did not have to go through such an arduous battle as he wrapped the match in straight sets, continuing from where he left in the one-sided semi-final against Tommy Paul.

Djokovic started in 5th gear against Tsitsipas, who was eyeing his maiden Grand Slam title, as he broke early and never looking like conceding one. He saved a set point in the second before winning it in the tie-breaker as he fended away Tsitsipas threat even as the Greek youngster was trying to up his intensity and go toe-to-toe with the Serb.

Tsitsipas was never able to dominate Djokovic for a consistent period as his level dipped big time in the 3rd set tie-breaker as Djokovic brought the curtains down on the match in straight sets.

Djokovic had 82 percentage wins on first serve and made just 22 unforced errors when compared to Tsitsipas’s 42.

There were concerns about Novak Djokovic’s fitness when he needed 4 sets against unseeded Frenchman Enzo Couacaud in the 2nd round in Mebourne. Djokovic was heavily strapped on his right leg but he dismissed concerns, rampaging through the men’s singles draw after Rafael Nadal’s shock exit.

Djokovic shut down doubters of his injury, dealt with the distraction of the Russian flag controversy involving his father, who did not attend his semi-final and final at the Rod Laver Arena but nothing deterred him from achieving his mission – a 10th Australian Open crown.

Djokvoic was at his vintage best against the likes of local hope Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul, losing just 20 games en route to the final where he lost a bit more. The Serb has made it a memorable month in Australia, having won the Adelaide International and topping it up with the big prize in Melbourne.

This story was first published by India Today.

Also Read: Usain Bolt Loses $12 Million In Financial Scam: Report

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