Perhaps it was inevitable, but Novak Djokovic still had to get out on court and do it, and he did so in style. The 35-year-old beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Sunday (January 29) to win a 10th Australian Open title and create more tennis history.
In a rematch of the pair’s 2021 Roland Garros matchup, Djokovic took on Tsitsipas in the title match at Melbourne Park with a lot at stake. The Serb was dialed in from the get go, grabbing the first break of the match to take the opener for the loss of just three games.
Tsitsipas, playing his first final at the Australian Open, began to grow into the contest in the second set. Serving first helped, as he put scoreboard pressure on Djokovic, who fell behind set point late in the second. To his credit, though, the Serb survived as a tiebreak ensued. Although he saw a 4-1 lead evaporate, Djokovic regrouped to take the second set and take control of the match.
Following a medical break at the start of the third, Djokovic dropped serve for the first time on the night, as Tsitsipas sought to find a way back. However, the Greek couldn’t capitalize on the break. At the same time, he kept up his strong level of play, with the scoreboard pressure against him this time.
Another tiebreak ensued, where Djokovic opened up a lead, arriving at three championship points, but Tstisipas was not ready to throw in the towel yet. He saved the first two but was powerless to save a third as the Serb hoisted aloft the winner’s trophy at Melbourne Park for a record-extending 10th time.
With the triumph, Novak Djokovic achieved a few milestones while also returning to World No. 1 for a record-extending 374th week. Here’s a look at a few of them:
#1 Novak Djokovic moves sole 4th in all-time men’s singles titles leaderboard
Novak Djokovic entered the Australian Open level with Rafael Nadal (92) in fourth place on the all-time men’s singles titles leaderboard, having triumphed in Adelaide at the start of the year.
Three weeks later, Djokovic triumphed at his bastion at Melbourne Park for a 10th time to go sole fourth on the leaderboard. The Serb is now only one behind third-placed Ivan Lendl (94), whom he could surpass later this year. Jimmy Connors (109) and Roger Federer (103) are the two players at the top.
With the win over Tsitsipas, Djokovic has now improved to 12-0 on the season, with his injury-plagued build-up to the tournament now a distant memory.
#2 Becomes 3rd oldest player in Open Era to win Australian Open
Novak Djokovic has not lost at the Australian Open since a fourth-round exit to Hyeon-Chung in 2018. That’s now a record 28 matches without defeat, two better than Andre Agassi, spanning four titles.
After missing the 2022 edition due to deportation following his medical exemption controversy, Djokovic returned to the winner’s podium at Melbourne Park in style, dropping just one set all week.
In the process, the 35-year-old became the third-oldest player in the Open Era to win the Australian Open.
Only Ken Rosewall (1971-72) and Roger Federer (2018) were older than Djokovic when they won at Melbourne Park.
#3 Second player in the Open Era to win his first 10 finals at a tournament
Novak Djokovic has extended his perfect record in Australian Open finals to a stunning 10-0.
In the process, he became only the second player in the Open Era to win his first ten finals at a tournament. Rafael Nadal (Roland Garros, Barcelona) is the first player to do so.
It’s also the first instance of a male player winning a hardcourt Grand Slam on ten occasions.
#4 Moves level with Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam titles by a male player
With his win over Tstisipas, Novak Djokovic moved level with Rafael Nadal (22) for most Grand Slam singles titles by a male player in the Open Era. The Spaniard was the defending champion at Melbourne Park but lost in the second round.
Djokovic is now level with Steffi Graf on the Open Era Grand Slam singles leaderboard, with only Serena Williams (23) ahead of the pack.
#5 Second male player in Open Era to win same Grand Slam 15 years apart
Novak Djokovic continued his love affair with Melbourne Park, the venue of his first Grand Slam title 15 years ago.
A decade and a half later, Djokovic returned to the venue to win a record-extending 10th title. In the process, he became only the second male player in the Open Era to win the same Grand Slam 15 years apart.
Only Rafael Nadal stands ahead of Djokovic in this respect, winning his first Roland Garros title in 2005 and his 14th in 2022, spanning 17 years.