Novak Djokovic has defended his Australian Open crown for the third straight year with a dominant straight sets win over world No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.
The world No. 1’s experience was the clear difference, with Djokovic weathering all kinds of challenges to seal the 7-5 6-2 6-2 win, and his ninth Australian Open title.
The incredible victory keeps Djokovic’s immaculate Australian Open finals record intact as the Serbian chases down fellow greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for total Grand Slam title wins.
The loss for Medvedev leaves him winless in his two Grand Slam finals, putting a sour end to what was otherwise an excellent Australian Open campaign for the Russian fourth seed.
Up until the loss to Djokovic, Medvedev hadn’t lost to a top 10 ranked player in 20 matches.
“It’s a matter of time when you hold a Grand Slam that’s for sure,” a humble Djokovic said of Medvedev in his post-match speech. “If you don’t mind waiting a few more years.
“I would like everyone just to appreciate what he has done – (a) 20 match winning streak in the last couple of months. Amazing.”
Djokovic was eerily imposing early in the match, racing to a 3-0 lead after beaking Medvedev on his first serve.
But Medvedev, playing in his first Australian Open final and just the second Grand Slam final of his career, showed incredible courage to reel momentum back, fighting back with a crucial break in the fifth to then level scores at 3-3.
With both players then holding their serve, Medvedev plowed through his service game at 5-4, putting pressure straight back on Djokovic, but the world No. 1 didn’t budge.
It left Medvedev to again serve to save the first set, but Djokovic turned it on again when it mattered, racing to 40-15 then overcoming a minor fightback to seal the break and the first set 7-5.
The second set began in a grueling fashion, both players gaining breaks in the opening two games after a string of physical rallies.
Medvedev appeared as though he’d force the break again in the third, but three consecutive unforced errors handed the momentum back to Djokovic.
He didn’t let things slip from there, breaking again in the fourth and pushing his opponent into submission on his serve.
The umpire was forced to call let mid-point in the fifth game as a loud crowd member began to protest, but that wouldn’t halt Djokovic’s momentum.
Djokovic closed out the second set 6-2 in just over half an hour.
With all the momentum of a 2-0 set lead behind him, Djokovic continued to turn the screws, breaking in the first and third game of the third set.
While Medvedev finally held his serve, Djokovic would not drop his, and eventually clinched the break again in the final game to emphatically seal victory.
The triumph gives Djokovic 18 major titles, two behind Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (20) on the all-time list.