Novak Djokovic won his eighth Australian Open title on Sunday when he beat Dominic Thiem in a five-set thriller.
Djokovic won 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a minute less than four hours in Melbourne.
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The Serbian had to dig deep to beat the Austrian, who had triumphed in four of his five previous meetings. Thiem recovered after falling behind a set to stand in front of the No. 2 seed, which he fought in the second and third sets.
Djokovic faced the referee for a time violation in the second set and sought a medical waiting time for dizziness and dehydration in the third, but he recovered to level the procedures in the fourth and presented a show in the final set to ensure the victory:
The 32-year-old extend his Australian Open 2020 record ahead of Roger Federer, who won six titles at Melbourne Park, and defend his 2019 title in the process:
It has been imperative in the Grand Slam finals in recent times:
BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller shared some of the numbers behind Djokovic’s illustrious career and suggested that fatigue may have been a factor in Thiem’s failure to watch the game:
Before the final, the No. 5 seed had played three games of four sets and one of five sets, while Djokovic had only been taken to four sets twice. Thiem had also played seven playoffs with all three of the Djoker.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times would have welcomed a new face by winning a Grand Slam:
According to Christopher Clarey, from the same store, there have been only seven different Grand Slam male winners since the beginning of 2006, compared to 25 different champions in the women’s draw.
Since Djokovic won his first Australian Open title in 2008, his first Grand Slam, he failed to win a special in 2009, 2010 and 2017. When total titles are taken into account, his consistency has been even more impressive:
Djokovic now has 17 Grand Slam titles overall. It’s only two behind Rafael Nadal’s 19 and three behind Federer’s 20.
Federer turns 39 this year, and Djokovic is a year younger than Nadal, who has had many more injury problems to deal with in the course of his career, so he has an excellent opportunity to overcome both when they have retired.
As for Thiem, the 26-year-old has reached a Grand Slam final for three consecutive years. He has defeated Djokovic and Nadal four times each and has a 5-2 record against Federer, so if anyone is ready to break the trio’s domain in Grand Slams, it’s him.
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