Novak Djokovic after securing 22nd Major: 'Biggest victory of my life'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2951
Novak Djokovic is the happiest athlete in the world! Novak secured his 22nd Major title at beloved Rod Laver Arena, matching Rafael Nadal's record and becoming world no. 1 at 35. Novak ousted Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 56 minutes for his tenth Australian Open trophy from as many finals, writing history books and extending his incredible legacy.
Djokovic described the victory as one of the most significant ones of his career after dealing with a hamstring injury. Novak experienced a left leg injury in Adelaide, winning the title at the start of the season but gathering concerns ahead of the Australian Open.
Djokovic felt the pain against Enzo Couacaud and Grigor Dimitrov and still have his best to pass two obstacles and reach the last 16. The Serb had no issues since the fourth round, beating the remaining four rivals in straight sets and extending his incredible Australian Open journey.
Novak had the edge over Stefanos in the title clash, ousting the rival many times in a row and competing in his 33rd Major fina. Djokovic prevailed in the decisive moments in the second and third sets, saving one set point and dropping serve once.
Tsitsipas fought well, but it was not enough at least for a set, failing to match Djokovic's pace in the tie breaks and spraying too many mistakes. Novak fired 36 winners and 22 unforced errors and had a massive advantage in the mid-range rallies, earning his victory in that segment.
Djokovic missed break points in the encounter's second game and fixed that at 2-1 after Tsitsipas' double fault for his first break and early advantage. Novak served well in the rest of the set and fired a service winner at 5-3 to take the opener in 36 minutes.
Tsitsipas stayed in touch with Djokovic in the second set and created a set point on the return at 5-4. Novak saved it with a forehand down the line winner and gained a boost ahead of the tie break.
Novak Djokovic claimed his 22nd Major title at the Australian Open.
The Serb claimed it 7-4 with an unreturned serve to build a massive advantage and move closer to the finish line after an hour and 46 minutes.
Djokovic sprayed a backhand error in the third set's first game to experience a break for the first and only time. Tsitsipas could not stay in front for too long, wasting a 30-0 lead in game two and allowing Djokovic to break back after a forced error.
Novak painted a backhand winner in the seventh game to move 4-3 up and keep the pressure on the other side. Stefanos responded with four winners in game eight, looking good to introduce another tie break. The Serb cracked a backhand down the line winner in the ninth game, moving 5-4 up and forcing the Greek to serve to stay in the match.
Standing two points away from the loss, Tsitsipas fired two winners to bring the game home and lock the result at 5-5. They served well in games 11 and 12 and introduced the second tie break, a must-win one for the Greek. Novak grabbed two mini-breaks and raced into a 5-0 lead.
The Serb lost the following three points before creating three match points with a forehand down the line winner at 5-3. Stefanos denied the first two with fine hitting, and Novak sealed the deal on the third to the third in the 12th point to emerge at the top and write history.
"It has been a long journey for me. Only my team and family know what we have been through for the past four or five weeks. Given the circumstances, this is the biggest victory of my life," Novak Djokovic said.