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Australian Open 2021 Highlights: Novak Djokovic claims ninth title in Melbourne with straight sets win over Daniil Medvedev

Australian Open 2021 men's final: Novak Djokovic heads into Sunday's Australian Open final unbeaten on eight previous occasions in the title match, but knowing he will need to be at his mental and physical best to overcome red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev

FP Sports February 21, 2021 13:14:17 IST
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Australian Open 2021 Highlights: Novak Djokovic claims ninth title in Melbourne with straight sets win over Daniil Medvedev

Novak Djokovic heads into Sunday's Australian Open final unbeaten on eight previous occasions in the title match, but knowing he will need to be at his mental and physical best to overcome red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev. AP

Highlights

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Feb 21, 2021 - 16:42 (IST)

All said and done, it has been an incredible Australian Open. Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic denying first-time Slam opportunities to Jennifer Brady and Daniil Medvedev respectively. Fans are back - albeit limited attendance. Lots of great matches, a lot of great points and plenty of drama. Celebrate and enjoy tennis while you can. Until the next time, goodbye!

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:36 (IST)

Most definitely. His speech after losing at US Open was pretty spectacular as well

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:34 (IST)

Novak Djokovic: "Good evening everyone! First of all, Daniil class act. We used to practice more in Monaco. You're not calling me anymore. Thanks for the good things you've said about me. He's a great person off court but on it, he's one of the toughest I've played in my life. It is a matter of time you'll hold a Slam. If you don't mind waiting a few more years. 20-match winning streak, amazing!"

"I would like to thank my team. Everyone back home who has been with me all the way alongside on this ride. It has been a rollercoaster - especially in the last couple of weeks. Ulises (physio) I'm eternally grateful to you for the past couple of weeks. Love you guys!"

"Mixed feelings about what happened since we came to Australia. I want to congratulate the organisers, they've made a great effort. Challenging on many different levels. They should be proud of themselves. Thank you for making it possible, appreciate it."

"Last but not least I want to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. Thank you so much!"

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:29 (IST)

Daniil Medvedev: "Never easy to speak when you've lost a Grand Slam final. Congrats to Novak, nine in Australia and 18 in total. Maybe not your last. I have no words to say. Just to tell you a story: I had a hit when I was 600 in the world, I thought he won't speak to me. He was speaking to me, talking like a friend. It hasn't changed whether I'm 600 in the world or 4th. You're a great sport, great person."

"Thanks to my coach. It wasn't our day. Thank you for being with me in Australia. Hopefully we'll have a Grand Slam soon"

"Thanks to Craig and the guys for making it happen. We haven't been happy about quarantine but thanks for making it happen."

"I really wanted to make this match longer, entertaining. Thanks for coming and supporting me."

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:23 (IST)

Strange scenes

At the presentation ceremony, the Tennis Australia representative gets booed for vaccinations and then the Victoria government. Odd. "I'll start when you're done" shuts 'em up. 

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:18 (IST)

If you're keeping count, the tally now reads:

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:14 (IST)

That's his court now.

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:14 (IST)

BONKERS STAT: For the 54th time in the last 63 majors, a member of the Big Three has won a Grand Slam title

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:12 (IST)

NINE AUSTRALIAN OPEN TITLES! NINE!

Feb 21, 2021 - 16:12 (IST)

Australian Open champion: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to win the Australian Open for a record extending ninth time. He's taken his Grand Slam tally to 18 now and two behind Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal. 

Preview:ย Novak Djokovic heads into Sunday's Australian Open final unbeaten on eight previous occasions in the title match, but knowing he will need to be at his mental and physical best to overcome red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev.

The Serbian world number one has had to battle injury and extract new levels of determination just to get to the final.

An abdominal injury in the third round put him on the brink of an early exit and left him unable to train between matches.

But after his semi-final win over another Russian, Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic reported he felt fitter than at any time during the Melbourne fortnight

On Sunday night he will face an entirely different challenge against "chess player" Medvedev โ€” the form man of tennis who is on a 20-match winning streak.

Medvedev, the world number four, is unbeaten since last November, including a straight-sets drubbing of the Serb at the ATP Finals in London.

"He's just so solid. Also, I heard (commentator) Jim Courier calling him a master chess player because of the way he tactically positions himself on the court, and it's true," Djokovic said.

"You know, he's definitely a very smart tennis player."

Djokovic is into his ninth decider at Melbourne Park as he targets an 18th Slam title to close the gap on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have 20 each.

But the 33-year-old said while experience was clearly an advantage, Medvedev would be a formidable adversary.

The Serb holds the phenomenal record of never losing a final on Melbourne's famous blue courts in eight attempts spanning 13 years.

Djokovic will also be playing his 28th Grand Slam final. It will be the Russian's second.

"Of course it contributes to more confidence, prior to coming into the finals, knowing that I never lost in the finals or semi-finals just makes me feel more comfortable being on the court," Djokovic said.

"But each year is different, although it does have a mental effect on me. Maybe on my opponents, I don't know, but on me it does definitely have a positive effect.

"But it's not a decisive factor in the way the match is going to go forward, because each year is different."

'He's the favourite'

Medvedev, who has dropped just two sets so far, said that despite having all the momentum he will go into the final as the underdog.

"He's the favourite because he didn't lose. On eight occasions that he was here in the semis he won the tournament," said the 25-year-old.

"Me, I'm... the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it.

"I know that to beat him you need to just show your best tennis, be at your best physically maybe four or five hours, and be at your best mentally maybe for five hours," he added.

Medvedev, who also reached the 2019 US Open final, losing to Nadal, has the weapons to trouble Djokovic, with a big serve, unrelenting returns and exceptional movement as he targets a maiden Grand Slam title.

Twelve of his 20 straight wins have been against top-10 players and he has won three of his last four against the 17-time Grand Slam-winning Serb.

"Playing Novak seven times already is just a huge experience," he said.

"(But) I think when he's in the zone he doesn't miss. He goes down the line, cross, forehand, backhand, he doesn't miss. That's what is the toughest part of playing against him."

With inputs from AFP.

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