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Novak Djokovic claims ninth Australian Open crown with straight-sets win over Daniil Medvedev in men’s final

Novak Djokovic’s dominance at the Australian Open has continued, with the world number one winning his ninth men’s title — and third straight — by defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Pre-match predictions of a five-set thriller come to nothing, as Djokovic dismantled the fourth-seeded Medvedev in under two hours, triumphing 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic has a perfect record in Australian Open finals and now has won three consecutive championships for the second time in his career.

The victory also gave him an 18th major singles title, just two shy of the men’s record held by his contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who had been troubled by injury earlier in the tournament, said it was a satisfying feeling to win another Australian Open.

“It has been a roller-coaster ride for me, especially in the last couple of weeks,” Djokovic said during the presentation ceremony.

Djokovic has never lost an Australian Open final.(AP: Andy Brownbill)

Djokovic thanked Australian Open organisers for staging the tournament amid the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia,” he said.

“But I think when we draw a line in the end, it was a successful tournament for organisers. I want to congratulate the head of Tennis Australia (chief executive) Craig Tiley for making an effort.

“They did make a great effort. It wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on many different levels.”

The presentation ceremony had earlier been interrupted by booing and whistling when Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka addressed the crowd.

Ms Hrdlicka was booed when she spoke about COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as when she thanked the Victorian government for their assistance in holding the tournament.

Medvedev, who was bidding to become the third Russian to win the Australian Open men’s championship, had won three of his past four encounters against Djokovic.

But he was his own worst enemy at times on Sunday night, racking up 30 unforced errors during his defeat.

Daniil Medvedev struggled to make an impression after losing the first set.(AP: Hamish Blair)

Medvedev paid tribute to Djokovic, who he described as a “great sport”.

“Nine grand slams in Australia, 18 titles, is amazing and probably not your last one,” said Medvedev, who was playing in his second final of a major.

“I have no words to say.”

Djokovic said it was “a matter of time” before Medvedev won a major.

“He’s definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life,” he said.

Medvedev’s appearance in the Australian Open final will lift him to a career-high ranking of three.

Djokovic takes control early

Djokovic was in cruise control in the early stages of the first set after he established a 3-0 lead.

Despite losing his opening service game, Medvedev was unflustered. He held serve and then broke back in the fifth game when Djokovic mistimed an overhead smash at 15-40 down.

As the set progressed it seemed a tiebreak would be needed to decide its outcome, however Djokovic made sure he had a say in the matter.

Leading 6-5 with Medvedev serving, Djokovic brought up three set points with a brilliant backhand passing shot. Medvedev saved the first two, but Djokovic converted on the third via an unforced error from his opponent.

Medvedev, who had won 20 straight tour-level matches before the final, started the second set on the right note when he clinched a service break in the opening game.

But Djokovic got the break back immediately, robbing Medvedev of the opportunity to build momentum early in the set.

Medvedev’s serve let him down again in the fourth game. Unforced errors on both his backhand and forehand wings cruelled his chances of holding serve, allowing Djokovic to leap out to a 3-1 lead.

Djokovic only lost four games across the second and third sets.(AP: Andy Brownbill)

A set and a break up, Djokovic could smell blood, while Medvedev was becoming increasingly frustrated. He let his emotions boil over in the seventh game when he smashed his racquet on the court after falling behind 2-5.

His mood only darkened when he dropped serve in the next game, as Djokovic took a two-sets-to-love lead.

When Djokovic broke Medvedev in the second game of the third set, his victory was a mere formality.

He kept his nose in front throughout the set, forcing Medvedev to play catch-up in his attempt to stay in the final.

Djokovic held serve to lead 5-2 and he wrapped up victory in the following game when he broke Medvedev for the seventh time.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog.

Live updates

By Andrew Mcgarry

A wild tournament ends with a familiar champion 

Djokovic kisses the trophy after winning his ninth Australian Open title (AP)

At the end of a fortnight that saw some crowds, then no crowds, then the return of the fans –  it was good to see and hear a proper audience at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament’s conclusion.

The result is very familiar – nine titles for Novak Djokovic, and 18 grand slam crowns in total, just two behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

From the get-go, Djokovic was fierce and full-on at every point. He took on the man in form, Daniil Medvedev, and he proved far too strong. He out-hit him, out-thought him and outlasted him. The Russian has been very impressive in recent months, but he had no answer tonight.

This is the launching point for a huge 2021 for Djokovic. With Federer close to the end, and Nadal mainly up for the French, the world number one will be eyeing more grand slam titles before the year is out. He wants to be the greatest, and he will give it a red-hot go.

This won’t be Medvedev’s last chance to win a major, but he will need to find a way to play better in the crucial moments.

So that’s where we will leave our live coverage for the Australian Open.

Thank you for joining us on the blog for tonight’s final. There will be more stories on our website tonight and tomorrow in the washup of the Australian Open. In the meantime, this is Andrew McGarry, signing off. 

By Andrew Mcgarry

The men’s singles grand slam table right now:

  • 20: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
  • 18: Novak Djokovic
  • 14: Pete Sampras
  • 12: Roy Emerson
  • 11: Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg

By Andrew Mcgarry

That winning feeling is all too much for Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open (AP)

By Andrew Mcgarry

So Djokovic takes home the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time at the House of Novak, AKA Rod Laver Arena.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Djokovic thanks his team, for dedicating so much time to him including Ule his physio.

He then turns to the circumstances of the Open:

Look, there are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia. But I think when we draw a line in the end it was a successful tournament for organisers.

I want to congratulate the head of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley for making an effort. They did make a great effort. They did make a great effort. Look, it wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on many different levels.

But, you know, I think they should be proud of themselves of what they have put together and allow this to come to Australia and be standing here as Daniil said and the closing ceremony. Thank you guys very much for making it possible.

Last but not least I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been love affair keeps growing. Thank you so much.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Now the champion:

I would like to return nice words to Daniil. First of all, class act. You’re a great guy. Great person.

You’re not calling me anymore in the last few years. But it’s nice to see that you were thinking good things about me. Thank you so much. I really like Daniil as a person off the court he’s great. Always very friendly. Very out going. On the court, he’s definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life.

It’s a matter of time when you hold a Grand Slam that’s for sure. If you don’t mind waiting a few – waiting a few more years. I would like everyone just to I think once more appreciate what he has done 20 match winning streak in the last couple of months. Amazing.

By Andrew Mcgarry

More Medvedev

Big thanks to my wife and my coach. Not the best day today. Probably good three last months after some tough circumstances. Thank you guys for being with me in Australia for a long time.

Hopefully we’re going to hold a Grand Slam soon.

last but not least I would like too thank you guys first of all for inviting us, even if it was not easy for some of you as we know. We’re still here. I see your happy to see tennis. I really wanted to make this match longer and more entertaining for you, but today was not the day. But thanks a lot for coming and supporting me. Your energy is very good. Thanks.

By Andrew Mcgarry

It’s Medvedev:

Never easy to speak when you just lost a final or a Grand Slam. But I’ll try to do my best. First of all congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia. 18 title is amazing and probably not your last one. I have no words to say.

Just to tell a small story guys. First our practice with Novak when I was like 500 in the world 600 in the world in Monaco. He was already No.1. Just won Wimbledon.

I thought OK he’s not going to speak to me or something, because the guy was a God for me. I came there. Because I was shy. So I didn’t speak. He was asking the questions, talking to me like a friend. I was really surprised. It never changed since I was 600 in the world or four in the world you’re a great sport, great person. So congratulations.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Triumph for Djokovic (AP)

Audience comment by Charmaine Andrews

Well done to both players for making the finals.well done Novak for another title

By Andrew Mcgarry

There was a cascade of boos from the crowd when Hrdlicka thanked the Victorian Government.

Applause however when she thanked the thousands of volunteers who helped make the tournament possible… and to the fans.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka …

What an exceptional finish to two amazing weeks of tennis in Melbourne Park. And tonight, of course, was an opportunity to see a spectacular match and clearly the crowning of the King of Melbourne Park Novak Djokovic.

Novak you demonstrated … tonight what a tenacious competitor you are. You had no intention of leaving the Stadium tonight without the trophy in hand. This is your ninth Australian Open final. 50% of your 18 Grand Slam championships.

Daniil, tonight was not your night. You’re a fierce competitor. You’re the third Russian to make the finals of the Australian Open in our history. You should be very proud of your achievements.

Novak was unbeatable tonight. We’re all sure we’ll see you back here trying to take the crown off of him at some point in the future. Congratulations. 

Both players and frankly all of the players over the course of the last three weeks have been playing under exceptional circumstances. In fact, the last 12 months have been exceptional circumstances for everybody around the world. It’s been a time of heart felt challenge. It’s been a time of deep loss and extraordinary sacrifice for everyone. 

So we hope for those of you at home tonight watching, for those of you in the stands today, and for the many people who have been able to join us over the last couple of weeks that we bought a bit of hope for the hard work that’s ahead in getting back to normal.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Mark another down for the Big Three against the Next Generation…

Who will be the first one to beat one of Federer, Nadal or Thiem in a final?

By Andrew Mcgarry

Medvedev was broken seven times tonight – you can’t beat Djokovic when you can’t hold your own serve.

Medvedev hit 24 winners to Novak’s 20, but 30 unforced errors to Djokovic’s 17.

The most important stat for Djokovic tonight? 18 – the number of singles grand slam titles in his possession.

By Andrew Mcgarry

By Andrew Mcgarry

Just incredible stuff from Djokovic. He climbs to the stands to hug his coach and supporters.

What else can you say!

Nine finals, nine wins. 21 straight wins at Melbourne Park.

Medvedev had almost forgotten how to lose – but Novak reminded him tonight!  

By Andrew Mcgarry

Novak Djokovic wins his ninth Australian Open, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. 

By Andrew Mcgarry

Medvedev to stay in the tournament

Second serve – Djokovic jumps on it, takes control and hammers for the corners. he gets the winner and it’s 0-15

Second serve. Djokovic gets the ball back, and Medvedev finds the net again. Two points away!

Some more uncanny deep hitting from Djokovic, but he hits the net with one return and it’s 30-15

Second serve and let. The crowd is being asked for silence by the umpire.

Medvedev produces a wide serve and Novak hits the net. 30-30

first serve too long. Djokovic hitting deep, medvedev pulls it wide, Championship point!

By Andrew Mcgarry

By Andrew Mcgarry

Djokovic serves at 7-5, 6-2, 4-2

Brilliant cross-court drop volley winner from Djokovic to start.

You can’t see where the comeback will come from.

The crowd tries to rev up Medvedev, as he hits a cross-court winner. 15-15

Medvedev winner! The crowd roars as he hits an off-forehand into the corner. It’s now or never. 15-30

And like clockwork, the unplayable serve into the corner. 30-30

That. Was. Too. Good. Medvedev was hitting for the corners, Djokovic drills a return on the line and the Russian can only block it in the net. 40-30

Second serve. Big rally, but Medvedev can’t find the opening, and finally he hits the net.

Djokovic is one game away!

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