Novak Djokovic endured a fierce challenge to his Melbourne Park reign before overhauling Dominic Thiem 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 on Sunday to clinch an eighth Australian Open crown and reclaim the world number one ranking.
While Rafa Nadal rules Roland Garros with 12 titles, Djokovic holds sway in the title match at Rod Laver Arena having never lost a final in Melbourne Park. Yet on Sunday the Serb was under siege for much of the thriller.
For the first time in eight Melbourne finals, Djokovic was forced to come back when trailing after three sets, rocked by the power and determination of Thiem.
He captured the decisive break in the third game of the final set, then held firm as Thiem made desperate assaults on his serve.
Going for broke in a nerve-shredding final game, the fifth seeded Austrian went for the lines but missed twice to hand Djokovic one of his most hard-earnt triumphs.
Congratulations @DjokerNole, champions always find a way and you did again tonight. It was a magnificent final. Dominic, your time will come make no mistake. Keep fighting hard, you're a real star.
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) February 2, 2020
Can't stress on this point enough. Novaks biggest weapon is his self belief. It certainly was as he won a record 8th aussie open. Just mind blowing to think of how tough of an athlete he is. #mambamentality #respect https://t.co/SNeSG1qcen — Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) February 2, 2020
Congrats to Novak and his team! What a start to 2020 for him🎯 @AustralianOpen
— Magnus Norman (@normansweden) February 2, 2020
Idemo!!! @DjokerNole 🏆🙌
— Juan M. del Potro (@delpotrojuan) February 2, 2020
Things didn't go your way today @ThiemDomi but you're getting closer and closer. Just a matter of time. Not the ending you wanted to this #AusOpen but huge congratulations on a phenomenal performance. — Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) February 2, 2020
— Jan-Michael Gambill (@JanmikeGambill) February 2, 2020
Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have now won 13 Grand Slam titles in succession, dating back to Federer’s 2017 title at Melbourne Park.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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Updated Date: Feb 02, 2020 19:23:01 IST