Novak Djokovic was simply too good at the most crucial moments and claimed his 10th Australian Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title overall by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5) in the final at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night.
The victory allows Djokovic to return to No.1 in the ATP rankings. Djokovic now equals Nadal’s all-time men’s singles record of 22 grand slam titles.
The 35-year-old from Serbia did not compete in the Australian Open a year ago after being deported from the country because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Government restrictions have eased since, and he was able to get a visa this time despite still not having gotten the shots against the illness caused by Covid. Now Djokovic has run his winning streak at the hard-court tournament to 28 matches.
His 10th trophy in Australia adds to the record he already held. His 22 major championships--which include seven from Wimbledon, three from the US Open and two from the French Open--are tied with Rafael Nadal for the most by a man in the history of tennis.
Tsitsipas fell to 0-2 in major finals. He also lost to Djokovic at the 2021 French Open.
Djokovic after the match was quoted saying by The Guardian, “I have to say this has been one of the most challenging tournaments I’ve played in my life. Not playing last year, coming back this year … I want to thank all the people who made me feel welcome to be in Melbourne, (and) in Australia. There’s a reason why I’ve played my best tennis here in Melbourne.”
“Only the team and family knows what we have been through in the last four or five weeks. This is probably, I would say – the biggest victory in my life, considering the circumstances,” Djokovic was quoted saying.
(With PTI inputs.)