“There is much talk that the new generations are going to get rid of the three of us. With my respect to all those guys, they still have a lot of work to do. I'm not going to give myself up. I'll make them move their ass. ” Novak Djokovic warned after learning that Tsitsipas had said a victory for Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final would be good for tennis and that the Russian had passed the pressure on him: “He has more to lose in that Grand Slam race with Federer and Nadal ”. The Serbian was not bluffing with his bravado. Not much less. In the moment of truth, in a situation that you have experienced dozens of times, Djokovic became huge and did not fail. Titanic, he banged on the table, offered a show of force on his behalf and on behalf of the Big Three to win by 7-5, 6-2 and 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes his 82nd title, ninth in Melbourne and 18th in majors. This is how he pressed the race for historical supremacy: he is two behind the Swiss and the Balearic.
On paper, Medvedev was the fittest player on the circuit, with a streak of 20 consecutive wins and 11 against top-10 players. But this time it was shipwrecked with a crash. In large part because Djokovic gave him a tactical bath that drove him out of his mind, but also because of his mistakes and a hasty way of playing that should not be allowed at this point in his career. The Muscovite lacked the pause that the Balkan did have, a know-how that should already be required of him with 25 years and after coming close to surprising Nadal two years ago in the US Open final.
It was not an easy task, because between the two stars, who will continue to be number one and two in the world, they have won 10 of the last 11 Grand Slams (since Roland Garros 2018). Djokovic ‘tripite’ success in Australia for the second time in his career (he already did it between 2011 and 2013) and continues without fail in the finals that he disputes at Rod Laver Arena: 9 of 9. He already has the second best record of titles in the same Grand Slam, behind Rafa's 13 in Paris and ahead of Federer's eight at Wimbledon.
Superior and patient
The party disappointed. A more competitive final was expected and it was only during the first set. There Medvedev knew how to respond to the 3-0 start that Djokovic endorsed him and take him to the limit, although a couple of big errors in the twelfth game left him in the middle of a comeback. The second heat started well for the Russian, with a break that did not last long, since Nole equaled it immediately and from there he took over the crash. His rival missed with his best weapon, the backhand, he did not respond well with the running blows from the right and he could not read the always sharp remains of the champion. Enraged, he broke his racket and managed to channel that fury to try to avoid what was a real review, especially in the third set. “I hope to speak better of what I have competed in. I am sorry I was not able to put on a good show,” said Daniil at the trophy ceremony. And he was right.
Djokovic, who had not had it easy during the tournament, with a threat of retirement included in the third round against Fritz due to his abdominal discomfort, and tough matches against Tiafoe, Raonic and Zverev, did everything right on the most appointed day. The serve, his best virtue in this Australian Open, did not disappoint. With the backhand he set the rhythm and the right one ran like a charm. He did not abuse the left and had an unshakable peace of mind, which he lacked a few months ago at the US Open. There he continues, at the top of the ranking and again closer to his intimate enemies and at the same time compadres of the Big Three. The battle continues.
Schedule and results.