Novak Djokovic convincingly won the Australian Open for the ninth time on Sunday. The world number one was too tall for Daniil Medvedev in a one-sided final in Melbourne.
Medvedev, 25, was unbeaten for twenty straight games, but the Russian rarely reached his highest level in the final. Djokovic, on the other hand, fell little in the Rod Laver Arena and took less than two hours to win his third straight Australian Open title: 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
His new success in Melbourne brings Djokovic, 33, to eighteen Grand Slam titles. The Serbian needs two more wins to equal the Grand Slam record, currently held by rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (20 titles each).
At the start of the Australian Open, it didn’t look like Djokovic would win the tournament. “The Djoker” injured an abdominal muscle in the third round and escaped elimination against American Taylor Fritz, but in the matches that followed he managed to convince again.
Djokovic is only the fourth player to win a Grand Slam tournament at least nine times. He is in a row with Nadal (thirteen titles at Roland Garros), Margaret Court (eleven titles at the Australian Open) and Martina Navrátilová (nine titles at Wimbledon).
Medvedev is still awaiting his first title in one of the four majors. The current world number four played his second Grand Slam final against Djokovic, having narrowly lost to Nadal in the 2019 US Open final.
Photo series: Winners of the Australian Open 2001-2021
Djokovic again unbeatable at Australian Open
Djokovic never lost at the Australian Open when he reached the last four and also got off to a good start in his ninth final. The Serbian struck straight on Medvedev’s first service game and took a 3-0 lead in eight minutes. The Russian was not fooled and, in part due to unnecessary mistakes from Djokovic, equalized the score just as quickly.
As expected, Medvedev has held up well in rallies, but after a number of smooth service matches things turned awry at 5-6 for the double Grand Slam finalist. Djokovic forced three set points with a nice backhand and Medvedev could only beat two.
In the second act, Medvedev again made mistakes at decisive moments. The Djokovic team were snapped immediately, but then took four straight and saw Medvedev’s frustration increase. The world number four smashed his racquet at 2-5 and was then shattered for the third time.
Medvedev’s good match, so unreachable recently, was nothing left in the Rod Laver Arena, where thousands of fans sat in the stands. He got two save points in the first game of the third set, but Djokovic was just too good.
The near-perfect Serb – he made thirteen unnecessary mistakes less than Medvedev – then hit his Russian opponent’s serve and again took a big lead. Aside from a few small recoveries, Medvedev no longer came close to Djokovic, who convincingly decided the one-sided final in his favor at 5-2 with his seventh break of the game.