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Novak Djokovic Tops Stefanos Tsitsipas for 10th Australian Open Title, 22nd Grand Slam

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece after the Men’s Singles Final match during day 14 of the 2023 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The dream dangled in sight.

Novak Djokovic remain riveted on the ball to realize it.

Completing inspired Melbourne comeback with historic coronation, Djokovic dismantled Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) to capture his record-extending 10th Australian Open title and claim his 22nd career Grand Slam championship matching rival Rafael Nadal’s men’s major mark.

The fourth-seeded Serbian reclaimed his throne as Australian Open king and regained the world No. 1 ranking in the process surpassing US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz, who missed Melbourne rehabbing a leg injury.

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As fans chanted his nickname “Nole! Nole!” the Belgrade-born baseliner dedicated this 10th AO championships to the dreamers everywhere.

“Dare to dream big because anything is possible,” Djokovic told the packed Rod Laver Arena crowd. “Don’t let anyone take away the dream, doesn’t matter where you are coming from.

“I actually think the more disadvantaged childhoold you have, the more difficult it is, the more challenges you have, the stronger you become. So Stefanos and I are proof of that.”

The game’s premier returner proved convincing closer winning 22 of the last 23 points played on his serve, including stamping four straight love holds to seal a two hour, 56-minute triumph.

Leave it to Djokovic to craft a triple crown—22 Slam titles, 10 AO championships and world No. 1 ranking—in the process of a magic Melbourne comeback that saw him add to mind-blowing numbers.

It capped a trying and tearful triumph Djokovic called “the greatest victory of my life considering the circumstances.”

“I have to say this has been one of the most challenging tournaments I’ve ever played in my life considering the circumstances not playing last year coming back this year,” Djokovic said. “I want to thank all the people that made me feel welcome to be in Melbourne to be in Australia there’s a reason why I have played my best tennis throughout my career in Australia and on this court in front of legendary Rod Laver, thank you so much for being present tonight sir…

“This is probably I would say the greatest victory of my life considering the circumstances.”

Firing a final forehand to convert this third championship point, Djokovic paused for a moment, turned to his box and pointed an index finger to his head, pounded his palm off his heart then pointed below the belt to cojones signifying the three forces he used in unison for a legacy victory.

An exhausted and elated Djokovic climbed into his box and sobbed in the arms of his mother, brother and coach Goran Ivanisevic unloading the extreme emotional pressure he felt in heartfelt group hug.

An exacting and emotional Djokovic regained the world No. 1 ranking and reinforced his reputation as Greatest Of All Time—in the eyes of many opponents and observers, including Tsitsipas.

Denied his shot to become the first Greek Grand Slam champion, Tsitsipas praised Djokovic as GOAT after bowing to the Serbian in a second Slam final.

“I admire what you have done for our sport; I think you have made me a better player on the court so thank you,” Tsitsipas told Djokovic. “He’s one of the greatest in our sport and I think he’s the greatest that’s ever held a tennis racquet.

“I’d like to thank you for pushing our sport so far. A player like you pushes every single player, ever single individual that’s involved in the sport to the max.”

Bounced out of Australia last January over his unvaccinated status, Djokovic return as the ultimate antidote to all opponents.

A year after suffering demoralizing deportation, Djokovic crafted comeback coronation scoring his record-extending 28th consecutive AO triumph and 41st straight victory on Australian soil. Djokovic hasn’t lost a match down under since Hyeon Chung swept him in the 2018 AO round of 16.

At this rate, it may be another five years before anyone beats the world No. 1 in Australia again.