Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic closes in on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal with ninth triumph at Melbourne Park

Melbourne: Peerless world number one Novak Djokovic demolished Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win his ninth Australian Open title and extend his record-breaking reign at Melbourne Park Sunday.

Djokovic overpowered the fourth seed 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in front of 7,400 fans on Rod Laver Arena to end the Russian’s unbeaten run at 20 matches.

In winning a third straight Australian Open for the second time, the Serb claimed his 18th Grand Slam title to move within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have 20 each, while denying Medvedev his first.

Djokovic created multiple records with his straight sets win on Sunday:

# Novak Djokovic has now taken his Grand Slam titles tally to 18 – two behind joint-leaders (among men) Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

# Djokovic has now won nine Australian Open titles. Roy Emerson, Federer are joint-second with six. He is the second man in history to win at least nine titles at a Grand Slam event – after Nadal who has 13 at Roland Garros. (Federer has 8 Wimbledon titles)

# Djokovic maintains his top ranking come Monday. More significantly, he will surpass Federer for most weeks at the top on 8 March – a staggering 311 weeks.

# It is the 20th time in the Open Era that the top seed has won the men’s singles title. Djokovic has won as the top seed here on three previous occasions – 2012, 2016 and 2019.

# By successfully defending his title, it is the 15th time that the men’s singles title has been retained in the Open Era. And, it is the fifth time that Djokovic has successfully kept his crown at Melbourne Park.

# It is for the second time that Djokovic has won three in a row at Australian Open. He also won between 2011-13 and is the third player to win three in a row at Australian Open after Jack Crawford and Roy Emerson.

# Djokovic and Nadal have won 9 of the last 10 Grand Slams going back to 2018 French Open. Only Dominic Thiem has won the other (2020 US Open)

# Medvedev is one of 6 active players to have reached a Grand Slam men’s singles final but not win. Others: Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alexander Zverev

# Djokovic has now extended his winning streak over top-10 players at Australian Open to 12 matches. He hasn’t lost to a top-10 player at Melbourne Park since Stan Wawrinka in 2014. His record over top-10 opposition at Australian stands at 23-5, 55-28 at Slams and 218-100 overall.

# Djokovic is the first man in the Open Era to win 3 Australian Open titles after turning 30. By progressing to the final, he had become the first man in the Open Era to reach 3 Australian Open finals after turning 30.

# Djokovic has now won 6 Slam titles since turning 30 and equals Nadal’s Open Era record for most Slam singles titles after that age. This was his 7th Grand Slam final since turning 30. Federer, Nadal and Ken Rosewall have reached 8 Grand Slam finals after 30.

# This is Djokovic’s 82nd Tour-level singles title. He is fifth in the list among men in the Open Era behind Jimmy Connors (109), Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (95) and Nadal (86).

# Djokovic is now 9-0 in Australian Open finals and has won 6 of his last 7 Grand Slam finals. The only exception being the mauling at French Open in 2020. He now has an 18-10 win-loss record in major finals.

# Djokovic has now won 303 Grand Slam matches. He entered the 300 club following the win over Milos Raonic in the fourth round. The only other member of the 300-club is Federer who has a jaw-dropping 362 match wins.

# Medvedev is the third Russian man to reach multiple Grand Slam finals after Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. He has played 16 Slams and reached the final in two of them.

# Medvedev will rise to World No 3 in the rankings on Monday. His previous career-high was No 4 – a spot he first held after 2019 US Open.

Source – Yahoo News

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