Novak Djokovic juggernaut rolls on at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev to win his ninth Australian Open title and close the gap on the Grand Slam leaderboard

Novak Djokovic may be granted visa for the 2023 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic gave a Melbourne masterclass on Sunday evening, defeating World No 5 Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 53 minutes to win his third successive, and ninth overall, Australian Open title.

Djokovic’s historic win made him just the second player in history to lift nine trophies at one Grand Slam championship.

ALSO READ: Naomi Osaka reigns supreme at Australian Open

Djokovic breaks a tie with Roger Federer for the second-most victories at a single major, and now the Serbian only trails Rafael Nadal’s 13 crowns at Roland Garros.

He also closed the gap on 20-time major titlists Nadal andFederer at the top of the Grand Slam titles leaderboard with his 18th major trophy.

Next year, Djokovic will try to become the second man in history to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam.

Sharpen your backhand with our FREE guide

“I would like to thank this court, I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena, I love you each year more and more – the love affair keeps going,” Djokovoic said, arms wrapped around the coveted Norman Brookes Challenge Cup once again.

Medvedev, contesting only his second Grand Slam final, resisted the Djokovic juggernaut in the middle of the opening set, overturning a 3-0 deficit to bring it level to 3-3.

ALSO READ: ‘Does Roger Federer need to play?’ asks snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan

But at 6-5, the World No 1 broke away, playing with an edgy aggression to get a timely break and pocket the first set.

The Serb, who had struggled with abdominal issues earlier in the tournament, was in top shape during the final and dismantled Medvedev in the last two sets.

ALSO READ: ‘Medvedev win will be good for tennis,’ says Tsitsipas

Djokovic later described the Russian as one of the “toughest players I ever faced in my life” and paid tribute to his much-younger rival.

“On the court, Daniil is one of the toughest players I have ever faced in my life. It’s only a matter of time before you hold a Grand Slam trophy,” said Djokovic, in the trophy ceremony.

ALSO READ: Serena just wants it too badly, says Martina Navratilova

“If you can wait a few more years, I’d appreciate it. It’s amazing that he has put together a 20-match winning streak over the past few months.”

“Congratulations to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia and 18 in total is an amazing thing and it is probably not your last one,” said Medvedev, during the trophy ceremony.

ALSO READ: Greek food for thought for Naomi Osaka

As a result of his run to the championship match, Medvedev will rise above 2020 runner-up Dominic Thiem to a career-high No. 3 when the latest ATP Rankings are published on Monday.