Novak Djokovic won a record-extending 10th Australian Open title on Sunday despite battling an injury that would have forced most players to quit, his coach Goran Ivanisevic said, adding that the world number 1 kept getting “crazier and crazier”.
Djokovic, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6, had to deal with the suspicion of the severity of his hamstring injury, which he suffered en route to winning the warm-up title in Adelaide.
A year after Rafael Nadal pulled ahead in the record books on the very same court, with Djokovic absent from the tournament, the 35-year-old Serb has issued a response.
He now equals Nadal’s all-time men’s single’s record of 22 grand slam titles, with the 10th crown at Melbourne Park a peerless marker of his dominance.
Djokovic is the second man in history to win 10 or more singles majors at any grand slam tournament, after Nadal’s 14 French Open titles. He will return to world number one for the first time since June last year, when he lost the top ranking to Russian Daniil Medvedev.
“I am extremely proud and happy with this achievement with all the things happening on and off the court,” Djokovic said.
“Last year’s event, coming to Australian Open this year. I was extra nervous and also motivated to try make a mark and make myself successful on the court.”
The statistics are astonishing, the quality and consistency of his tennis even more so. Djokovic last won at Australian Open in 2018, a winning streak that spans 28 matches. At this tournament he only lost one set.
Djokovic wore a jacket emblazoned with the bright number 2022 just under the right side of his collarbone and called his triumph “the biggest victory of my life”.
Source: SuperSport, CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, image from Twitter: @VasekPospisil