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Novak Djokovic bags eighth Australian Open

By People Daily
Monday, February 3rd, 2020
Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their men’s singles final of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne yesterday. Photo/AFP
In summary

Melbourne, Sunday @PeopleDailyKe

Novak Djokovic extended his record by winning his eighth Australian Open singles title on Sunday, defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The victory in 3 hours 59 minutes allowed Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal and to reassert his dominance in Melbourne.

Based on the evidence, the hardest task in men’s tennis remains defeating Nadal at the French Open.

But the second-hardest task must be beating Djokovic down the stretch at the Australian Open.

He has never lost a semifinal and is now 8-0 in finals, after winning his second straight final here.

He excels on all surfaces, but he has won nearly half of his 17 Grand Slam singles titles on the medium-speed hardcourts in Melbourne.

This was the third straight men’s Grand Slam final to require five sets. Djokovic saved two match points before defeating Federer at Wimbledon last year.

Nadal then held off Daniil Medvedev, who had rallied from two sets down, to win the United States Open.

At the start on Sunday night, it looked like Djokovic might avoid another marathon.

His form in the opening games looked similar to his dazzling display in last year’s straight-set rout of Nadal in the Australian Open final, which Djokovic considers one of the finest performances of his career.

He jumped out to a 4-1 lead, winning points from all parts of the court and with all manner of tactics: drop shots, powerful groundstrokes and penetrating first and second serves.

But Thiem, unlike Nadal, found a way to weather the early storm and get back to 4-4 before Djokovic closed out the set.

It was a taut, tense affair from there, although both players rarely peaked in unison. The second set turned Thiem’s way after Djokovic was called for consecutive time violations by the chair umpire, Damien Dumusois, when serving at 4-4. - AGENCIES

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