Novak Djokovic swept to a 10th Australian Open title after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas.
A year after seeing Nadal pull ahead in the overall standings while he tried to process the fall-out from his deportation, Djokovic has been determined to show that the Rod Laver Arena is his stage. He dropped just one set all tournament despite saying he feared a left hamstring problem might force him to withdraw and finished with a 6-3 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) victory over first-time Australian Open finalist Tsitsipas.
Djokovic also reclaims the world number one ranking from Carlos Alcaraz, and it would be very difficult to argue that he does not justify that position having once again put the younger generations in their place. His status in Australia, meanwhile, is unmatched, with the 35-year-old winning a 28th consecutive Australian Open match and a 41st in a row in the country as a whole.
How many Grand Slam titles has Djokovic won?
The victory at the Australian Open was the Serbians 10th title and his 22nd overall. He has matched Rafa Nadal as the record holder for most Grand Slam title wins for a men’s tennis player.
Serena Williams still holds the record for the most Grand Slam titles with 23 during her illustrious career. Djokovic will be looking to claim another win in the three remaining tournaments this year - including French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
What happened in Australian Open final?
Both men received raucous welcomes, but the reception for Djokovic was just a little bit louder, and his fans soon had plenty to cheer. For the first time all tournament, there was no heavy strapping on his left thigh, although a couple of strips of tape were a reminder that Djokovic had cruised through to the final while not 100 per cent fit.
If the 35-year-old has been vulnerable in slam finals over the past couple of years, it has tended to be early on, with Djokovic losing the first set on four consecutive occasions, including against Tsitsipas in the Greek’s only previous final at the French Open in 2021. There Djokovic went two sets down but still came back to win. He was in no mood for a repeat here, though, looking supremely sharp from the start, forcing Tsitsipas to save two break points in his opening service game and then breaking to lead 3-1.
The 24-year-old barely landed a glove on his opponent during Djokovic’s service games, with the first set whizzing by, but Tsitsipas, who has carried himself with an air of great confidence all fortnight, got a foothold in the match early in the second set. He was serving with more authority and finding greater depth and penetration on his groundstrokes, although he was still reluctant to venture to the net.
Djokovic no longer looked quite so sure of himself, gesticulating frequently to his box, which was again without father Srdjan, who opted to stay away from Melbourne Park for another match after being filmed with pro-Russia activists last week – inadvertently, the family insisted. The Serbian took a heavy tumble in the seventh game, and at 4-5 he missed a routine backhand to give Tsitsipas a set point.
The Greek was unable to seize his opportunity, though, and soon he was two sets down after an error-strewn tie-break. Chances will always be at a premium against Djokovic and taking them is paramount but Tsitsipas was again too charitable at the start of the third set, finally breaking serve only to hand the advantage straight back.
He was at least able to repel Djokovic’s pressure to force a second tie-break only to find himself 5-0 down. He battled back with some of his best tennis of the match but a forehand that just caught the line was enough for Djokovic to clinch his second match point.