Novak Djokovic wins 10th Australian Open, 22nd Grand Slam singles title
Novak Djokovic wins 10th Australian Open, 22nd Grand Slam singles title originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Novak Djokovic is the King of Melbourne Park.
The 35-year-old Serbian won his 10th Australian Open singles title on Sunday after defeating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 on Sunday. Djokovic has more Australian Open titles than any other tennis player -- male or female.
The win also secures Djokovic his 22nd overall Grand Slam title -- a record he shares with Rafael Nadal.
A visibly emotional Djokovic told the fans at Rod Laver Arena after the match that he considers this title to be "the biggest victory of my life considering the circumstances."
Djokovic returned to Melbourne to win the title a year after being deported from Australia for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
This year, the No. 4 seed had to battle his road to redemption, a lingering hamstring injury and some controversy his family had faced ahead of the semifinal following a video of his father with a Russian flag.
"This was one of the most challenging tournaments of my life," Djokovic said despite only dropping one set the entire tournament. "Thank you for everyone who made me feel comfortable."
Tsitsipas did not fall short in complementing the "GOAT" after a remarkable performance.
"Novak Djokovic is the greatest that has ever held a racquet," the No. 3 seed said in his raw acceptance speech.
As for the tennis, it was a very clean performance for Djokovic who won 82% of his first serve points and 62% of his second serve points. He only accumulated 22 unforced errors will executing 36 winners in the match.
While Tsitsipas had his chances to grab the second and third sets, Djokovic was clearly the competitor that rose in the long rallies in tight moments.
In the first set, Djokovic came out unstoppable, using his confidence and familiarity with the Aussie Open final to his advantage.
Tsitsipas did everything in his power to stay in rallies with the Serb in the second set and his level clearly picked up. An angry and aggressive Djokovic rose to the occasion and squeaked by Tsitsipas in the tiebreaker to grab a two sets to love lead.
The final set was another battle with intensity increasing on the court while supporters became much more vocal in the stands. The Serb was able to secure the third set based on unforced errors accumulated. Djokovic had only five to Tsitsipas' 24.
Djokovic will return to world No. 1 when the new ATP rankings come out on Monday. The Serb has already spent 373 weeks in the top spot and has finished as the year-end No. 1 a record seven times.