Novak Djokovic climbed into the stands at Rod Laver Arena to celebrate his 10th Australian Open victory and record-breaking 22nd Grand Slam title.
Back on his court, Djokovic sat down on the touchline bench, buried his face in a white towel, and sobbed more.
This trip to Australia was much more successful than a year ago when he was deported for not being vaccinated against COVID-19, but it was difficult in and of itself.
a bad Achilles heel; an extrajudicial riot involving his father; However, Djokovic achieved everything he wanted upon his return.
He resumed his winning streak at Melbourne Park and returned to the top of tennis by declaring:
“Probably the biggest win of my life.”
Slightly challenged in the final, Djokovic simply prevailed at key moments, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6:3, 7:6 (4), 7:6 (5). As a bonus, Djokovic jumps from his 5th place to his 1st place in his ATP rankings. This is a position he has already held for more weeks than any other man.
“It was one of the most challenging tournaments of my life, given the circumstances. I didn’t play last year. Djokovic said, wearing a zip-up jacket. “And thank you to all the people who made me feel welcome, made me feel like I was in Melbourne, made me feel like I was in Australia.” I want to”
The 35-year-old from Serbia went on an unbeaten streak in his 28 games in Melbourne. This is the longest streak in the Open Era, dating back to 1968. He added 10 trophies to seven at Wimbledon, three at the US Open (he also missed last year because he didn’t have a coronavirus vaccination) and two at the French Open, while rival Rafael He competed with Nadal for the most with one player. can catch up.
Only two women stand before him: Margaret Court, 24, and Serena Williams, 23.
It was also Djokovic’s 93rd title of his level on the ATP Tour, beating Nadal’s fourth-most title of his.
“Thank you for developing our sport so far,” Tsitsipas told Djokovic.
“He’s the best,” said Tsitsipas.
Djokovic is in his 33rd Grand Slam final, Tsitsipas is in his second Grand Slam tournament and his 24-year-old Djokovic from Greece also lost to Djokovic at the 2021 French Open .
On a chilly night under cloudy skies, the referee repeatedly called for silence to the soundtrack of chants from both players’ supporters, but Djokovic consistently dominated, especially in his two tiebreakers. .
First he led 4-1, then scored the last three goals. He took his 5-0 lead in the final tiebreak, and when it was over, he pointed to his temple and screamed, the prelude to all the tears.
“It’s very emotional for us. It’s very emotional for him,” said Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic. “This is a great achievement. It’s been a really tough three weeks for him. he was able to overcome everything. ”
Djokovic admitted that he had all the problems weighing on him.
“It took tremendous mental and emotional energy to stay focused,” Djokovic said.
Please note the following:
Tsitsipas wasn’t all that bad, except for a series of early mistakes that seemed to be the product of tension above all else. Djokovic was too stubborn. His shots are so accurate that he has unforced only 22 errors, 20 less than his opponents. Running too fast and inflexible (except when Djokovic crashed left).
The 15-stroke point ended with Djokovic hitting a crosscourt forehand winner that felt like a statement. Tsitsipas missed two of his shots:
Long backhand, wide forehand. It felt like surrender. Even when Tsitsipas did break, Djokovic quickly broke back.
During these two weeks, Djokovic was thinking about more than forehands and backhands. Last year’s legal battle had a lesser significance. He alternately acknowledged it was his motivation, but recently said “it’s over”.Australia as pandemic restrictions ease enter the country.
He heard a lot of loud cheering, but had to deal with persistent jeering during the competition, including applause after Sunday’s error.
I had a sore left hamstring that was heavily bandaged for each game, but I could see only one beige sports tape leading up to the final.
And then there was the issue that after Djokovic’s quarterfinals, his father Srdjan was photographed with a group waving Russian flags, one of which was a photo of Vladimir Putin. Banned spectators from wearing Russian or Belarusian flags because it could cause confusion from the invasion of Ukraine. Djokovic and his father said Srdjan thought he was dating a Serbian fan.