The GOAT race between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has been closer than ever, with two Major crowns separating three tennis titans. On Sunday, Novak Djokovic claimed his 18th Major title at Melbourne Park, defeating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 53 minutes to secure the ninth Australian Open trophy in the past 14 years and make another big step towards his greatest rivals ahead of the rest of the season.
Since the third round, Novak had to deal with an abdomen injury, beating Taylor Fritz in five sets and struggling a bit against Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev en route to the semis. Recovering enough to play near his best and never losing a match after passing the quarter-final round in Melbourne, Novak advanced into the ninth Australian Open final and claimed the ninth title.
Goran Ivanisevic puts Djokovic and Nadal ahead of Federer.
Medvedev had won 20 matches prior to the title clash and gave everything he had against Novak in the opener, losing ground from the second set's early stages to finish on the losing side in his second Major final and propel Novak towards the trophy.
Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic was thrilled after his pupil's 18th Major crown, saying it gave Novak a lot of confidence to chase Federer and Nadal in the rest of his career. The Croat believes that Novak and Rafa will win more Majors than Roger, although he wants to see the Swiss in contention again after such a long break.
"This is great. Number 18 is secured, and now the chase is on. It should be great, as Novak has a lot of confidence. Rafa will win at least one more Major; I hope not two, but one for sure. All three are unbelievable; they produce better and better tennis when you think they are gone.
The young guns are coming, they are here, but these guys are better, one step better in the finals. I don't know where is the end of their domination. It's amazing what they are doing on the court and how they perform in big matches.
I'm waiting for Roger to come back. It's going to be more interesting to see what will happen at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I said a couple of years ago that Rafa and Novak will both overtake Roger, and I still believe that," Goran Ivanisevic said.