Djokovic wins eighth Australian Open title
Novak Djokovic has tasted success at Melbourne Park for an eighth time, defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem in a gruelling five set Australian Open final on Sunday night.
Djokovic lost his cool at different times during the match and had to fight back from two sets to one down against a hungry opponent chasing his first Grand Slam title, but prevailed 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 in a match that lasted exactly four hours.
Djokovic started well but appeared frustrated throughout the match, conceding two time violations during a wildly fluctuating second set to give Thiem an opening, the number five seed capitalising to level things at one set apiece.
The Serb was struggling to contain his emotions, sarcastically touching chair umpire Damien Dumusois on the foot and exchanging words after conceding a break late in the second set.
Thiem took control in the third set, setting things up with two early breaks of serve and claiming it 6-2 as Djokovic began to show signs of fatigue, calling a medical timeout during the set.
The 32 year old regained his composure in the fourth set to level things up at two sets all and take it to a decider, an early break of serve in the fifth set enough to give Djokovic an eighth Australian Open title, Thiem so close to a breakthrough title in his career.
Having first won the tournament in 2008, Djokovic has won more titles than anyone else in the Open era, now with 17 Grand Slam titles ahead of the French Open in May/June.
IMAGE: NY Times online.