Thanks to his affinity for Australia, Novak Djokovic repeatedly closes the gap in the men’s Grand Slam race.
Djokovic, the No. 1 player in the world, won his ninth Australian Open title and the 18th Grand Slam overall on Sunday and dusted Daniil Medvedev No. 4 with 7: 5, 6: 2, 6: 2 in a surprisingly one -Finals off. sided.
Djokovic is now within two Grand Slam titles of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, each of which owns 20 individual championships for men. This makes this race the closest there has ever been among the three greats.
Medvedev made it to the final after 20 wins and appeared to be in top form during the Australian Open. But his relative inexperience in the Grand Slam final was evident. Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in five sets in the 2019 US Open final, tried to maintain his patience as Djokovic interfered in long rallies and temporarily changed tactics and tested Medvedev’s forward movement and physicality.
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There were a number of mistakes for Medvedev, 30 of which were casual. Djokovic only made 15 unforced mistakes in the game.
For a moment, as Medvedev finished the first set 5-5, it seemed that Djokovic could face a difficult test. But he closed the first one on a hiatus and only had a moment’s trouble when Medvedev went broke in the first game of the second set. Djokovic immediately fell back and shook Medvedev, who struggled to struggle in the first hour of the game.
Djokovic will consider this to be one of his best accomplishments as he nearly knocked out of the tournament in the third round after suffering an injury to his sloping area in the middle of a game against Taylor Fritz.
Djokovic played with pain and was pushed to a fifth set. It seemed like he was having trouble finishing the match. But he found a way to get through against Fritz and was able to handle the injury he described as the worst he’d ever faced in a Grand Slam as the tournament progressed. Djokovic seemed to be painless until the final.