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Djokovic Triumphs for Ninth time in Melbourne with Final rout of Medvedev • Very Disappointing Australian Open Championship Match

Novak Djokovic kisses the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup after defeating Daniil Medvedev to win his ninth Australian Open title. EPA-EFE/DEAN LEWINS

By Ricky Dimon

No matter whom Novak Djokovic goes up against, he is simply too good in Melbourne.

Daniil Medvedev had won 20 matches in a row heading into Sunday’s Australian Open final, including 12 against top-10 opponents. Against Djokovic, the red-hot Russian could not even take a set.

Djokovic rolled to a ninth Australian Open title, improving to 9-0 in finals, by beating Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in just one hour and 53 minutes. It was his 18th Grand Slam title overall, leaving him just two behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“When you’re a young tennis player, I think 99.9 percent of players, kids that get a racquet in their hands start dreaming about what they want to achieve, it’s a Grand Slam–winning a major,” the world No. 1 said afterward. “So of course I tried to remind myself, pinch myself, of how important this is. Even though I have been fortunate to win many majors and play in many major finals in my life, I do enjoy the success every single time even more because I know that the longer the time passes, the more difficult it’s going to become for me to get my hands on the major trophy.”

This one was tough only because Djokovic suffered an abdominal injury during his third-round match against Taylor Fritz, which he survived in five sets. Djokovic may have been less than 100 percent against Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev, as well, but once the injury was no longer a factor, neither was any opponent. Djokovic raced through both the semis (vs. qualifier Aslan Karatsev) and final in dominant fashion.

For Medvedev, it was a second loss in a second slam final–and it was nowhere close to as competitive as his five-setter against Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open.“I was there in the first set,” the world No. 4 reflected. “I was up a break in the second. But in the end I lost in three sets, where I didn’t play bad but I didn’t play [at my] best level. Probably he made his game that good today that I couldn’t stay at my best level.

Novak Djokovic scored his 21st straight Australian Open victory capturing his 18th Grand Slam title. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

“He definitely was good. I definitely could have done better. But even if I would have done better, (it) doesn’t mean that the score would be different. Today we have this score. I’m the loser; he’s the winner.”

Medvedev’s summary was as simple as it looked for Djokovic on the court–and as simple as it has pretty much always looked for Djokovic on the court inside Rod Laver Arena.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.