Djokovic Claims Historic 10th Australian Open Win
Novak Djokovic overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to claim a record-extending 10th Australian Open title. It was the Serbian’s record equalling 22nd Grand Slam title, with Djokovic moving level with Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, 35, began strongly, winning the first set 6-3. Djokovic started the match in an authoritative manner as he tested Tsitsipas with some brutal groundstrokes from the baseline. After a rapid opening hold, Djokovic attacked Tsitsipas’ backhand with the Greek looking tense in the early stages.
The Serb failed to convert his two break points in the second game but would eventually secure a break in the fourth game for a 3-1 advantage. Djokovic then successfully closed out the first set.
However, Tsitsipas fought hard, giving Djokovic problems and took the two subsequent sets to tiebreaks. Djokovic needed all of his class, determination and game-management skills to prevail, and although it was a straight sets victory Tsitsipas’ resilience forced him to dig deep.
Tsitsipas had started to cause Djokovic more problems in the second set when he moved forward, however he could not break the Serb’s serve and Djokovic came through the tiebreak with a crucial two sets to love lead.
Tsitsipas started the third set with a few aggressive backhands as he broke in the opening game. However, Djokovic responded in powerful fashion, and secured an immediate break back. Eventually the third set would go to a tiebreak and Djokovic again had too much for Tsitsipas.
Djokovic’s 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) victory will see him return to the world number one ranking. 24-year-old Tsitsipas must continue his wait for a maiden Grand Slam win.
Sabalenka Secures First Slam
Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam singles title after fighting back to defeat Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open final.
Sabalenka, 24, triumphed 4-6 6-3 6-4. Kazakhstan’s Rybakina was unable to add a second Grand Slam win to her Wimbledon title.
In the opening set Rybakina was the more consistent with her power, using the angles of the court well to hit effective winners. She secured an early break as Sabalenka looked a little nervous and produced a number of errors in the early stages.
However, during the remainder of the first set, Sabalenka gradually grew into the game, though she was unable to break the Rybakina serve until the eighth game. However, after breaking back the errors returned to Sabalenka’s game and Rybakina broke serve again to go 5-4 up. This time it proved to be decisive and she held to take the first set.
The turning point game in the second set when Sabalenka saved two break points and went on to break serve herself. She then went on to win the second set.
It was all to play for in what was a dramatic and high-quality final set of tennis with both players serving brilliantly. However, Sabalenka was looking the more likely and a break of serve took her into a 4-3 lead. The fifth seed then managed to hold serve twice to take her first Grand Slam title.