Here is Novak Djokovic again on top of the world. Winner by hand, in three sets, of Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5)), the Serb won his tenth title at the Australian Open in as many finals . With a total of 22 trophies, he joins Rafael Nadal at the top of the Grand Slam. The two are now ahead of Roger Federer by two units. “Djoko” takes advantage of this triumph to become world number 1 again, a throne he had abandoned in June 2022.
With this success, the Serbian obviously extended his records Down Under. It is his 28th victory in a row at the Australian Open and his twelfth of the year, where he has not yet experienced defeat. In seven matches in Melbourne, he only gave up one set, in the second round, against Enzo Couacaud. A walk made easier by the mistakes of Tsitsipas, unable to seize his opportunities and making a fairly catastrophic copy in the two decisive games. There was only one boss on the court and he was not Greek.
Djokovic quickly took control of the game. From his very first service game, Tsitsipas had to dismiss two break points. But he had to give in at 1-2, notably by committing a double fault. His percentage of first serves (43%) weakened him and a certain tension hampered his footwork. Borrowed, he could not find a solution from the baseline. Opposite, the grinding machine had started. The Serb concludes the initial set in just 36 minutes (6-3). Implacable, he only gave up five points on his serve. The Greek’s eleven unforced errors said everything about his difficulties.
Tsitsipas nevertheless put one foot back in the game. First, by finding a commitment more in line with its usual standards. Then, taking advantage of the first signs of annoyance from his rival, who was often seen addressing his clan after a lost point. The Greek thus led twice 15-30 on the opposing service, before getting a set point at 5-4 after a big blunder from “Djoko” on the backhand.
Djokovic’s emotion at the end of the match, shared with his clan. (Jaimi Joy/Reuters)
But, each time, he lacked audacity, notably letting his rival ward off the last peril with a winning forehand. The tie-break showed extreme tension. Not really on his plate (he let slip a 4-1 advantage, two services to follow), Djokovic was very happy to see Tsitsipas scuttle himself live, by signing five unforced errors. After 1h46, he could see it coming: he had never lost a Grand Slam final after leading two sets to zero.
Tsitsipas was no more opportunistic in the final set. Break in the pocket (1-0), he thus redacted a forehand attack, at 30A, in the next game. And lost his advantage in stride. Djoko’s margin was so big that he could afford to win 85% of his second serves – a staggering figure, even for him.
A horrible start to the decisive game from the Greek sent the Serb in the lead 5 points to 0. He won the lead at 6-5 on a forehand that took the line. The demonstration lasted 2h56. Djokovic will seek a 23rd crown in June at Roland-Garros. Tsitsipas has lost his last ten clashes against the new world number 1. And the two Grand Slam finals he played, after Roland-Garros 2021.
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