Djoković Defends Title at Australian Open, Is One Step Away From Breaking Federer’s Record
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true – Novak Djoković is the king of the Australian Open, Rod Laver arena and hard surfaces. The Serbian ace won the Australian Open for the 9th time, which is the 18th Grand Slam title in his career. The best player on the planet defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final, surprisingly easy, in 3 sets: 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Djoković showed that the change of generation is definitely still not in force, since he overtook the best player on this surface from the younger generation of players. The Serbian did it without causing huge excitement in the stands of the Rod Laver Arena which, due to traditionally huge support he has in Melbourne, usually is not the case.
The first three games in the match went in the favor of Djoković and it may sound crazy but world no.1 did not look dominant in those moments. It seemed more like Medvedev was feeling out the opponent’s pulse and allowing him to make the shots before starting his ‘engines’ and reversing the situation.
Something like that actually happened. The Russian won his first game for 3-1 in the first set, and then made a break when he forced Djoković to make a mistake. In just a few minutes, the finalists saw themselves having a completely opposite momentum, and it seemed as if the mental advantage was on the side of the younger fellow.
The key was the seventh game when Djoković managed to take the lead again after three consecutive games won by Medvedev. The Serbian did not make a break but he did not allow the opponent to make it either. No player risked until the very end of the first set and then, there was a shock for Medvedev’s fans – three break points and a set ball for Djoković. He missed the first two opportunities to take the lead in sets but not the third, which, looking at what happened later in the match, was definitely a key moment in the final.
It was exciting at the start of the second set. Medvedev made a break but then Djoković did the same. The Serbian took the lead for the first time in the second set after a good service game to make the second break in that part of the match. But what a game this was…
At 15-30 for Novak, who was on fire, the referee interrupted the game and warned the audience because something that sounded like a children’s song was coming from the stands. Djoković managed to reach the break-point after which Medvedev sent the ball out. The Serbian tried to calm down the audience because they were disturbing both players.
Towards the end of the second set, the Serbian ace made another break and paved the way to a furious game in the third set. It took Novak a few minutes to reach 3-0 in the decisive part of the match and, by the end of the same, Medvedev won only two games and had to settle for the consolation prize in his first final of the Australian Open.
After the triumph in Melbourne, Djoković kept the leading position on the ATP list. Given the fact that he defended the title in the Australian Open, he remained at the same number of points (12,030) and his advantage over second-placed Rafael Nadal is now 2,180 points.
Djoković is getting closer to breaking Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks at the top of the ATP list, and that will officially happen on March 8 when the ranking list will be published.