Novak Djokovic outlasts Dominic Thiem to win eighth Australian Open crown

Monday, 03 Feb, 2020

Djokovic did what he does, though.

With the score locked at 4-4 in the second set, the second penalty came at break point and cost him a first serve, with Djokovic losing the game. Great job. You made yourself famous.

One person that I consider close in my life and was a mentor to me, Kobe Bryant, passed away as well with his daughter. Only Roger Federer, with 20, and Nadal, with 19, have won more men's Grand Slam singles trophies than Djokovic.

In a flash, Djokovic had served out the set to love, sealing it with an ace.

Djokovic, meanwhile, shrugged off a tentative start to reinforce his recent dominance, showing no mercy to Roger Federer, in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-3 win to reach the final.

The exchanges were closer now, but parity was not good enough for Djokovic, trailing by the odd set in three.

"The match could have definitely gone a different way if he had used those break points [in the sixth game]", Djokovic said after the match.

"You, Novak, and two other guys [Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal] have brought men's tennis to a complete new level and I'm really proud and happy to be competing in these times and this period of tennis".

The Serb, 32, was the overwhelming favourite, but the supremely fit and fast Thiem, 26, always had the weapons to trouble him, which he deployed successfully for much of the match, taming his serve and unleashing some explosive groundstrokes.

Thiem is six years younger but had spent six hours longer than the Serb on court before the final and had run 6km more.

"Probably one point and one shot separated us tonight". He lectured the chair umpire about time violations.

"He is anxious and that is how he is feeling physically as well", Groth told Nine.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev, whom Thiem will replace as the world number four on Monday, also took Nadal to five sets at the US Open in September.

"Of course, I just feel a lot of emptiness right now".

The latter capitulated in straight sets against Djokovic on Thursday, as the Serb extended his lead in the all-time series over the Swiss to 27-23.

Conceding the set with a bad backhand, a shellshocked Djokovic lost six games in a row as Thiem, blasting winners virtually at will, roared to a 4-0 lead in the third.

Conceding the set with a bad backhand, a shellshocked Djokovic lost six games in a row as Thiem, blasting winners virtually at will, roared to a 4-0 lead in the third.

"It's unique in sports history that the three best players - by far - are playing in the same era", Thiem said. Everyone knows that it is hard to play against Nole (Djokovic) because he's an unbelievable player.

Undaunted, Thiem displayed praiseworthy patience, and when Djokovic's aim and focus betrayed him, this became an intriguing contest.

While Djokovic held a 30-10 record in fifth sets, Thiem was a mediocre 8-6.

It was also the flawless fuel for the anti-Djokovic sentiment in the crowd - a fact not lost on observers as the action unfolded in Melbourne.

"I thought that the second violation was not necessary", Djokovic explained. Djokovic trudged back to his chair as a roar for Thiem filled the arena.

"It was anybody's game, really".

Djokovic drew on all his experience to force another break in the deciding fifth set to take a 2-1 lead and kept his foot on the gas to claim an eighth crown from the last 13 Australian Opens. "It is really tough what this attractive country is going through.I hope a disaster like [the continuing bushfires] never happens again".