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 lads’s document shared by his two rivals.
Djokovic used excellent serving and his common 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-Zero mixed in semifinals and finals on the arduous courts of the Australian Open.
Wanting on the greater image, Djokovic has gained six of the final 10 main tournaments and is assured of remaining at No. 1 within the rankings no less than via March eight. That can give him 311 weeks within the high spot, breaking a mark held by Federer.
The No. Four-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 attempting acquire his first such championship.
Djokovic ended the 25-year-old Russian’s 20-match successful streak. Medvedev additionally had gained his earlier 12 matches in opposition to Prime 10 opponents.
However 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 court docket, then completely destroyed it with a full-on spike. By the third, he saved trying up at his coach with palms up as if to ask, “What can I probably do right here?”
It’s a acquainted sentiment on this stadium, on this court docket, 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 mathematics seems to be good for Djokovic. He’s a couple of yr youthful than Nadal and 6 half of youthful than Federer, who turns 40 in August. Federer hasn’t competed in additional than a yr after having two knee operations however is anticipated 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 Enviornment. Spectators have been barred completely for 5 days earlier within the match due to an area COVID-19 lockdown, however they ultimately have 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 extensive, lengthy and into the web within the preliminary 10 minutes. Djokovic grabbed 13 of the match’s preliminary 16 factors and a fast Three-Zero lead.
Quickly sufficient, although, it was Three-all, as a result of Medvedev cleaned up his errors, whereas Djokovic faltered a bit, getting damaged after a recreation through which he flubbed a drop shot, then an overhead, probably the most obvious — solely? — weak spot in his recreation.
However 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 have been frequent prolonged exchanges on the baseline, each males able to protecting the court docket nicely sufficient to swallow up one another’s potential point-ending photographs. Medvedev not often strayed from the again of the court docket until lured ahead by one among 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 time ended with him lacking a backhand into the web, and he hunched up his shoulders and stared over at his visitor field. One other netted backhand gifted Medvedev a break and a 1-Zero lead.
Indicators of hassle? Not for lengthy.
There might need been cause to consider Djokovic was only a tad extra vulnerable this time round.
To begin with, 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 28th main remaining, even with Nadal for the second-most by a person in tennis historical past, trailing Federer’s 31.
The intense expertise hole definitely appeared to point out. 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, gained 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 court docket, limbs splayed. He has mentioned he feels at residence on the place, and he is not able to relinquish possession.