Novak Djokovic has proved yet again that he is the greatest tennis player on the planet with a ruthless display that saw him beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 in the final of the Australian Open.
He also showed a side of him we have rarely seen. As he climbed into the winner’s box, he sobbed on his mother’s shoulder - caught up in the emotion of the occasion. We didn’t truly know how much the chaos of last year - as he was eventually deported due to his vaccination status - truly affected him. Today, it all came out in his mother’s arms on the biggest stage.
It felt like his destiny and now he has joined Rafael Nadal’s exclusive club. Not only are the pair now tied on 22 Grand Slam titles together, but the Serbian has become just the second person in history to win ten titles at one event. He’s the greatest hard-court player of all time, without a doubt, and few would argue with him holding that title across the entire sport.
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"I have had the privilege to play a lot of difficult and high intensity matches but I would like to say one more time Novak brings out the best in me," Tsitsipas said. "He's one of the greatest in our sport and he's the greatest that has ever held a tennis racquet for sure."
After the drama of last year, Djokovic returned to Melbourne desperate to reclaim his crown. It’s the place he has felt most at home on a tennis court, and with this win, he has now won nine of the last 13 titles Down Under. It’s a remarkable record, and this year has seen him return to his very best.
The final, in which Stefanos Tsitsipas performed well, was just another demonstration of Djokovic’s magnificence. He’s relentless, and when it came down to the crucial tie-breaks, he showed the bottle to take his tenth title.
Tsitsipas, for all the quality he has shown this tournament, just doesn't seem to be able to get one over on the magnificent Djokovic. Ten is a special number for the Serb today, not only has he secured his tenth Australian Open title, but he has now beaten his Greek rival ten times in a row. That’s some achievement in itself.
For Tsitsipas, it was a match of missed opportunities. Having taken the champ to two tie-breaks, his forehand accuracy deserted him and left him with an uphill battle to climb on both occasions. His serving was good when it mattered most, but ultimately, in these finals, experience counts. Djokovic has never lost an Australian Open final. This was only Tsitsipas’ second major final in his entire career.
His moment will come, but today, as it has so often been over the last decade, is all about Novak. The ten-time champion. Number 22 in total. One of the finest sportspeople on the planet makes it count yet again as he returns to world number one. And as Nick Krygios alluded to with his tweet 'he will get to 28 slams - easy,' he is far from done yet.