World no. 1 Novak Djokovic could not compete at this year's Australian Open, leaving Melbourne following a ten-day saga over his visa. Thus, the Serb did not get a chance to chase the milestone tenth Australian Open title, remaining on nine and still standing as by far the most accomplished player Down Under in the Open era.
Novak's first Australian Open crown came in 2008, and he started his domination in 2011. Ahead of 2022, Novak had won nine of the last 14 titles Down Under and wrote history books. After a couple of rough years in Melbourne in 2017 and 2018, Novak restored the order in 2019 and claimed three consecutive titles to leave Roger Federer and other notable Australian Open champions far behind.
Novak struggled with an abdominal injury and worked hard against Taylor Fritz, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev last year, overcoming all the obstacles and reaching the semi-final. Felling better, Djokovic continued his perfect run in the post-quarter-final stage at the Australian Open, toppling Aslan Karatsev and Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to claim the 18th Major crown.
Novak defeated Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in the final in under two hours, prevailing in the opener and leaving the Russian behind in sets two and three to emerge at the top. Since 2011, Novak has been the world's most consistent player, reducing the gap to Federer and Nadal and securing his place among the greatest players of all time.
Sania Mirza praised Novak Djokovic's last year's Australian Open performance.
The Indian doubles legend Sania Mirza praised Djokovic and his accomplishments, putting him right up there with Federer and Nadal in the GOAT race.
In Sania's opinion, Novak can win 15 Melbourne crowns if he stays healthy and motivated to play long enough. Still, that becomes much tougher following his recent issues with the Australian legal bodies. "People are talking about Federer and Nadal all the time, and some of them are forgetting about Novak Djokovic.
Then, Novak reminds them that he has won 18 Major titles while being much younger than Federer. He has been the world's leading player for a while now; he is incredibly consistent. Novak has won nine Australian Open crowns; he could even win 15 by retirement, depending on how much he would play.
It's a fact that Novak should win more Majors; he is incredibly well-prepared and has been playing at his pick for a couple of years," Sania Mirza said.