Novak Djokovic defended his Australian Open crown for the third year in a row with a dominant straight sets victory over world No.4 Daniil Medvedev.
The experience of the world No.1 clearly made the difference, with Djokovic overcoming all manner of challenges to seal the 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory and his ninth Australian Open title.
The incredible victory keeps Djokovic’s pristine Australian Open final record intact as the Serbian pursues compatriots Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to claim the overall Grand Slam title.
Medvedev’s loss leaves him winless in both of his Grand Slam finals, ending what was otherwise a great Australian Open campaign for the fourth-seeded Russian.
MORE: How Much Do Australian Open Winners Make?
Until the loss to Djokovic, Medvedev had not lost to one of the top 10 players in 20 matches.
“It’s a matter of time when you host a Grand Slam for sure,” a humble Djokovic said of Medvedev in his post-match speech. “If you don’t mind waiting a few more years.
“I would like everyone to enjoy what he did – (a) 20 game winning streak in the past two months. Unbelievable.”
Djokovic was oddly imposing at the start of the game, taking a 3-0 lead after screwing up Medvedev on his first serve.
But Medvedev, playing his first Australian Open final and just the second Grand Slam final of his career, showed incredible courage to revive the momentum, firing back with a crucial break in the fifth to level the scores then. to 3-3.
As both players retained their serve, Medvedev pulled off his service match at 5-4, putting pressure directly on Djokovic, but the world No.1 did not budge.
This left Medvedev serving again to save the first set, but Djokovic reactivated it when it counted, running to 40-15 then overcoming a slight riposte to seal the break and the first set 7-5.
The second set started grueling, with both players winning breaks in the first two games after a series of physical rallies.
Medvedev looked like he wanted to force the break again in the third, but three straight unforced errors gave Djokovic back the momentum.
MORE: Naomi Osaka defeats Jennifer Brady in women’s final
He didn’t let things slide from there, breaking again in the fourth and causing his opponent to submit on his serve.
The referee was forced to call halfway through Game 5 as a loud member of the crowd started to protest, but that wouldn’t stop Djokovic’s momentum.
Djokovic completed the second set 6-2 in just over half an hour.
With all the momentum of a 2-0 lead behind him, Djokovic continued to turn the screws, breaking in the first and third games of the third set.
While Medvedev finally held his serve, Djokovic didn’t let go of his and ultimately won the break in the last game to flatter the victory.
The triumph gives Djokovic 18 major titles, two behind Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (20) on the all-time list.