Novak Djokovic Wins Australian Open, His 17th Grand Slam Title


Novak Djokovic won his eighth Australian Open on Sunday, defeating Dominic Thiem in a grueling five-set match 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic now has 17 major titles to his name, putting him just three behind all-time leader Roger Federer.

On the court where he laid the foundations of his Grand Slam-winning career, Djokovic flashed almost every aspect of his game over the course of nearly four hours, from his brilliant shot making to his relentless defense to his fiery temper.

It wasn’t always tidy—he made 57 unforced errors compared to just nine on his way to winning the 2019 final—but when it comes to grinding out victories, Djokovic reminded the world that there has never been a player quite so unflagging.

Djokovic’s victory in Melbourne also meant that every Grand Slam title dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season continued to land in the hands of just three men: Federer, Rafael Nadal, and him.

Thiem, a powerful 26-year-old from Austria with an all-round game, is widely regarded as one of the players who could break that streak. But after three Grand Slam finals—he previously lost twice to Nadal at the French Open—he has yet to make the breakthrough.

Men’s tennis has been waiting for the next generation to arrive, it seems, for a generation. The sport’s eternal trio has shared 49 of the 57 Slams since 2006.

“We are playing in tough times, young players,” Thiem said before the match. “We always have to beat all these unbelievable legends.”

Thiem had already knocked off one legend to get here, beating Nadal in the quarterfinals. Taking on a second all-time great in less than a week, however, proved too much for him.

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