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Novak Djokovic wins record 9th Australian Open

World No. 1 , Novak Djokovic, of Serbia won the first Grand Slam Title of the year defeating World No. 4 Russian Daniil Medvedev, 22 in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on 21 February 2021. The tournament was delayed for three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to bar fans for five days when authorities ordered a snap lockdown. Djovovic won the title for the record ninth time, 2nd most in Open Era just behind Nadal’s 13 Roland Garros Titles. The final played 0n Sunday proved to be a one-sided affair as Medvedev after losing first set 7-5 could not sustain the onslaught of Djokovic throughout the match. It was expected that the young Russian with a 20-match winning streak would provide some real challenge. But the cool Serbian compelled Medvedev to collapse, who finished helpless.  Djokovic broke Medvedev at 5-5 in first winning it by 7-5. He then broke him two times in the second set to win 6-2 and getting a edge with two sets win. The final and decider third set was won by Djokovic 6-2 as Medvedev had lost his rhythm and lost three games in a row with the start of the set. He opens his account in the  fourth game and the score is 5-2 with Medvedev to serve. Djokovic takes an early lead in the next game and races to 30-0 finally breaking Medvedev with a smash to win the set 6-2 and the title. He broke Medvedev seven times in the match winning 16/18 net points with only 3 aces in the match. Medvedev made total 67 errors out of which were 30 unforced. Djokovic also avenged his 6-3, 6-3 loss to Medvedev at last year Nitto ATO Finals and now stands at 5-3 in their ATP Head 2 Head encounters. Djokovic hit 103 aces in the tournament, his most in slams. “I expect Medvedev to push Djokovic all the way in the #AusOpen men’s final. I won’t be surprised if he breaks through for the win,” Rod Laver said ahead of the showdown and “Daniil felt the full force of his will”, said the legend after the match. It’s the third consecutive Australian Open title for the Serb taking him to 18 Grand Slam titles, two short of 20 record slam titles jointly held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. With this win “Thanks to this court, the Rod Laver Arena, I love you each year more and more — the love affair keeps going,” said a relieved Djokovic after the match. Novak Djokovic will break the record for most weeks as world number 1 next month – one of the two goals he had set for himself before he retires. The other is the slams win record. “… Once that historic No.1 is achieved, then my focus will go mostly to the slams. That’s where I want to shine. Age is just a number. That’s kind of a mindset… But we have to also see things realistically. I’m not 22 anymore. I’m going to have to deal with the schedule and the calendar in different ways so I peak at the right moment in the slams.” Djokovic said.

@Rakesh Agarwal

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