Djokovic eyes more history after Open win

Novak Djokovic admits he’s on a mission to hunt down every major record in tennis after continuing his mastery of Melbourne Park.

The super Serb added a record-extending ninth Australian Open crown to his rapidly growing grand slam collection with a crushing 7-5 6-2 6-2 win over Daniil Medvedev in Sunday night’s final.

The one-sided victory edged Djokovic to within two majors of the men’s all-time record of 20 shared by tennis titans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.


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Incredibly, Federer had amassed 12 slams before Djokovic won his first at the 2008 Australian Open – and 16 before the now-world No.1 snared his second at Melbourne Park three years later.

Now Djokovic could conceivably eclipse Federer’s – and Nadal’s – tally this year.

Djokovic will surpass Federer’s record 310 weeks as world No.1 next month and it seems inevitable he’ll also move past the superstar Swiss on the majors leaderboard as he, Federer and Nadal continue to jostle for all-time greatest status.

“To be honest, really at this stage of my career, it’s about majors. It’s about the ranking (record as) No.1 is obviously the two biggest goals,” Djokovic said.

“Once that historic No.1 is achieved, then my focus will go mostly to the slams. That’s where I want to shine.”

The 33-year-old is also only the second man ever to claim nine titles at the same slam, joining his great rival Nadal, who owns an eye-watering 13 French Open trophies, after snapping Medvedev’s 20-match winning streak in merciless fashion.

Medvedev had been undefeated since last October and beat Djokovic in three of the pair’s previous four meetings.

But the Russian was no match for Djokovic on Rod Laver Arena, where the relentless Serb remains unconquered in nine finals and 42 outings as world No.1.

“I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more,” the champion said.

“It’s been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much.”

Contesting his 28th grand slam final, Djokovic opened Sunday’s match with an ace, held comfortably and then immediately broke Medvedev in the second game en route to charging to a 3-0 lead inside nine minutes.

The top seed looked in total control, only to make a brace of uncharacteristic errors to find himself double break-point down in the fifth game.

Two skyscraper defensive lobs from metres behind the baseline from Medvedev induced another error from Djokovic and suddenly the set was locked back up at 3-3.

But, as champions often do, Djokovic raised his game to break his Monte Carlo neighbour just as the set seemed headed to a tiebreaker, Medvedev finding the net with a meek forehand on set point.

Russia’s fourth seed gained an early break in the second, but then surrendered four straight games and obliterated his racquet in frustration as Djokovic motored to 5-2 lead, then a commanding two-set lead.

The third set was one-way traffic as Djokovic completed the comprehensive victory in just one hour and 53 minutes, the quickest grand slam final of his celebrated career.

Gracious in victory, Djokovic lauded Open boss Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia for even staging the Open during the global 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 Craig Tiley for making an effort. They did make a great effort.

“It wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on many different levels. But they should be proud.”

© AAP 2021