Melbourne, Austria – February 21: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic hosts the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup as he celebrates Melbourne’s victory in their men’s singles final against Daniel Medvedev of Russia during Day 14 of the Australian Open in 2021.

Maybe, just maybe, the thinking went, Novak Djokovic would be just a little more susceptible to upset this time at the Australian Open.

Eventually, he exhausted the abdominal muscles in the third round and was not sure they could continue to compete. Entering on Sunday, Djokovic referred to five sets in the tournament, in one of which he entered a major final. And to top it all, he faced Daniel Medvedev, the owner of a 20-match winning streak.

Yes right We are talking about Djokovic in Melbourne Park, where his dominance is certainly intact – nine finals, nine championships. In addition, he still holds onto Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, now 18 in total, two shy records of the men who share those rivals.

Djokovic served better to pull off 11 of 13 games in a stretch with his normally consistent comeback and baseline excellence, and Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6- for the third consecutive Australian Open trophy. Beat by 2.

“Definitely, emotionally, the most challenging grand slam I’ve ever had, everything that was happening – injury, off-the-court stuff, quarantine,” Djokovic said. “roller coaster ride.”

When the match ended after less than two hours, Djokovic went ashore, picked up his white shirt and peeled off pieces of beige athletic tape from his stomach.

“I was quite worried,” Djokovic said of the injury. “I didn’t think (real) that I could actually play. I didn’t know until two hours before the fourth round match.”

Djokobra is said to be “in pain” by outperforming United 18–0 in the semi-finals and finals on Melbourne’s hard court.

Medvedev said, “Presumably, this is not your last thing.” “I have no words to say.”

A 33-year-old Djokovic from Serbia has won six of the final 10 and will remain at number 1 in the rankings until at least March 8. This would give him 311 weeks to break another mark held by Federer.

His goals are now square at the Grand Slam, more than ever.

Djokovic’s nine wins in Australia include five at Wimbledon, three at the US Open and one at the French Open. He likes mathematics: He About a year younger than Nadal and 6 1/2 younger than Federer.

“I enjoy success even more each time,” Djokovic said, because I know that the more time passes, the more difficult it becomes. ‘

No. 4 seed Medvedev appeared in his second slam final; He was the runner-up to Nadal at the 2019 US Open.

The 25-year-old player from Russia won 12 matches in a row against top 10 opponents, but trying to solve Djokovic in Australia is a unique challenge.

“He is really good (“), said Medvedev, reading an opponent’s game, “knowing what you will do next, how to beat you.”

As things faded away, Medvedev hoisted his white racket into the blue court, then completely destroyed it with a spike. He Palms kept looking at his coach as if asking, “What can I possibly do here?”

This is a familiar feeling in this stadium: Federer, Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem – all Grand Slam champions, all defeated Djokovic in the semi-finals or finals in Melbourne.

A quiet, cloudy evening, an event delayed by three weeks due to the closure due to the coronavirus epidemic with a reported presence of 7,426 at Rod Laver Arena. Viewers were stopped five days earlier in the tournament due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but were eventually allowed to return to 50% capacity.

“There are a lot of mixed feelings with tennis players coming in the last month or so in Australia,” Djokovic said. “But I think when we finally draw a line, it was a successful tournament for the organizers.”

And for that.

Medvedev’s flat, wrap-the-racket-almost-his neck forehand was missing in the first 10 minutes, wide, long and netted in the first 10 minutes. Djokovic took a quick lead of 13 and 3–0 out of the opening 16 points of the match. Soon, however, it was 3-all, then 5-all.

But when Djokovic stepped in, and Medvedev stepped in. Djokovic broke in to claim the set when he was in love when Medvedev slapped a forehand into the net when someone in the crowd called out during the talk.

Djokovic started the second set with a mistake in the net, then shook his left hand and flexed his shoulders. The point ended with him missing a backhand into the net, and he appeared in his guest box. Another pure backhand gave a gift to Medvedev.

But there was a difference of extreme experience. Medvedev promptly abandoned his next two service games. In total, Djokovic broke seven times and made only 17 unexpected errors in Medvedev’s 30.

“Masterpiece”, said 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, one of Djokovic’s coaches.

Medvedev made a small start to 4–2 in the third, reaching 15–30 with a forehand winner from Djokovic and waving the crowd to make noise. If noticing that as a personal affair, Djokovic took the next three points and played, pointing his right forefinger in his temple and grinding his teeth.

Soon it was over.

“Coming to Australia, it always brings an extra dose of confidence to me,” said Djokovic, “because of my record here and how I play. “