With the Australian Open title in the balance, Novak Djokovic needed to rally. After three sets, the 32-year-old Djokovic found himself trailing 2-1 to Dominic Thiem. On top of that, Djokovic wasn’t feeling great, battling both dizziness and dehydration.
Just when it looked like he was out, Djokovic found a way to battle back. Djokovic rebounded to win the final two sets, taking home his eighth Australian Open title Sunday.
After struggling in the first three sets — 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 — Djokovic had to take a medical timeout because he was feeling dizzy, according to AFP.
Djokovic said he felt dizzy and sapped of energy, with the trainer telling him he was dehydrated.
"My energy completely collapsed. When I was tossing the ball I started to feel dizzy... I couldn't believe what was happening," he said.
In an attempt to recover, Djokovic chugged water and energy drinks. That strategy worked, as Djokovic won the final two sets 6-3 and 6-4 to complete the comeback. Following the match, Djokovic admitted he was “on the brink of losing,” according to the Associated Press.
With the win, Djokovic picked up his eighth victory at the Australian Open. It’s the second straight year he’s won the event. Djokovic’s win in 2019 set the record for most Australian Open titles. He extended that record to eight Sunday.
The win also gives Djokovic his 17th Grand Slam title. He is two Grand Slam wins behind Rafael Nadal and three behind Roger Federer on the men’s all-time list.
Following the match, both Djokovic and Thiem addressed the wildfires in Australia. Djokovic also paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash in January.
The letters “KB”, numbers 8 and 24 and a heart were stitched on the jacket Djokovic wore while making his victory speech.
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