DJOKOVIC DRAWS LEVEL NADAL IN MAJOR WINS AFTER AUSTRALIAN OPEN TRIUMPH
Serbian Novak Djokovic draws level with Spaniard Rafael Nadal in major wins following his triumph over Greece’s Tsitsipas in the Australian Open final in Melbourne, Sunday.
The 35- year-old who missed the 2019 event following deportation from Australia on a row over Covid-19 vaccination status, started the match strongly and took the second set on his way to a 6-3 7-6 (7) 7-6 (7-5) victory.
Tsitsipas who was on his quest for his first grand slam title looked confident, but the pace of the Serbian was dominating in the early stages of the first game. The Serbian was extremely calculative, targeting the Greek’s one-handed backhand, which has been a strength for the 24 year-old. Djokovic went on to claim the first set having held off the danger of the Greek backhand.
The second set, Tsitsipas fought like a wounded lion and jittery Djokovic got him back into the contest. The Serbian had to dig in the stave off the set point with a stunning inside-out forehand winner, 7-6 (7).
The third set was up for entertainment with tough intensity! That was exactly what it was and Tsitsipas broke in the first game of the third set. Was it nervousness? And he lost the advantage not consolidating and Djokovic again showed his mentality in the tie-breaker to complete a masterful win in a day he was watched by some of his family members including his brother and the mum.
Tsitsipas who is yet to win a grand slam lost to Djokovic in his first major final at the 2021 Roland Garros after relinquishing a two set lead. Obviously, he will need to work harder if he dreams of winning a major in 2023.
After the match Djokovic admitted it has been a long journey and playing at the Rod Laver Arena has been special one,
“I played some of my best tennis honestly in the Australian Open.” Djokovic said. He added “the fourth round, quarter- final and semi-final, just really comfortable on the court and hitting the ball great.
Meanwhile, Djokovic will continue his quest to become all- time best having leveled with Rafael Nadal in winning major titles and only trails 24-time champion Margaret Court and Serena Williams, who has 23, on the women’s side.
Djokovic remains unbeaten in Melbourne since 2018 and his win of the Australian Open extends his top rank position, while Tsitsipas will rise to number three with Djokovic overtaking Spanish 19 year-old Carlos Alcarac, who drops to number two after missing the tournament through injury.