Djokovic wins ninth Australian Open title
World number one Novak Djokovic has won his ninth Australian Open title, defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night.
The triumph was also his 18th Grand Slam title, closing in on adversaries Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (both 20) for most career Grand Slam titles in the process.
The 33-year-old Serb has never lost a final at Melbourne Park and beating Medvedev is a third triumph in a row.
Russian fourth seed Medvedev, 25, has lost both of his Grand Slam finals.
After collecting the trophy, Djokovic told fans at Rod Laver Arena: "I love you each year more and more. The love affair keeps going."
Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in the 2019 US Open final, was tipped to push Djokovic close and win his maiden major.
The Russian had reached the Melbourne final on the back of a 20-match winning streak, but floundered under the intense pressure applied by Djokovic.
Throwing racquets, poor body language and shouting angrily at his team were an illustration of how the Russian imploded in the third set, contrasting starkly with Djokovic's confident and steely exterior.
Djokovic clinched the title after one hour and 53 minutes with a backhand overhead volley, falling to the blue court on his back before lapping up the acclaim of the reduced 7,500 crowd.
A fascinating opening set could have swung either way, but it was the reigning champion who edged it when he unpicked Medvedev's serve again in the 12th game.
History was ominous for the Russian: Djokovic had only lost five of 264 Grand Slam matches when he had won the first set.
Medvedev went into the final on the back of a 20-match winning streak and had won his past 12 matches against top-10 opponents.
However, extending those runs looked unlikely once he began to implode in the second set.
After the pair exchanged breaks in the opening two games, Djokovic pounced again when a raft of unforced errors crept into Medvedev's game.
Medvedev started to look a little irritated, perhaps partly because of some disruptive fans in the previous game but mainly because he could not negate Djokovic, bouncing his racquet down on the court before the Serb moved 4-1 ahead.
The racquet survived that, but not the second thud Medvedev gave it when he whacked a forehand long for 5-2.
Djokovic sealed the two-set advantage with a crunching forehand which Medvedev could not handle.
Medvedev had never won after losing the opening two sets, but did fight back against Nadal at the 2019 US Open to force a decider.
Negativity looked to be deep-rooted, however, and the prospect of a similar fightback looked far-fetched.
There was a brief glimmer of hope at 30-30 in the seventh game of the third set, but Djokovic held for 5-2 - prodding his temple with his finger to emphasise his mental toughness - and served out to seal a one-sided win which few expected.
IMAGE: Yahoo Sports.