Great names spurred Djokovic to Australian Open hat-trick
Novak Djokovic said he was motivated by going into the history books as the winner of three consecutive Australian Open titles after he mastered his rival Andy Murray in the final yesterday
The Serbian World No 1 became the first man in the Open rra and only the third ever to win three straight Australian titles, joining Australians Jack Crawford (1931-33) and five-time winner Roy Emerson (1963-67).
Djokovic confirmed his No 1 ranking and his pre-eminence as the greatest player in the world with his fourth Australian crown and sixth Grand Slam title overall. He bounced back from losing to Murray in September’s US Open final by winning 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-2 in 3 hours, 40 minutes, coming out clearly on top in the physically demanding battle with the British third seed. Djokovic received the Cup from four-time winner Andre Agassi, and is among the names of other legendary champions like Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Emerson on the trophy.
“What more motivation do you need than from this trophy?” said Djokovic with the trophy alongside him. “Just seeing it and reading the names of the winners in the last 50, 100 years, it’s incredible. To be also mentioned in the history aspect, and winning three in a row, it’s a huge achievement.”
Spray of delight: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with a bottle of champagne in the early hours of Monday morning in Melbourne. Pic/Getty Images
This year’s final may not have been as physically taxing as last year’s record 5 hours 53 minute-victory over Rafael Nadal, but Djokovic showed his extraordinary stamina to grind down the muscular Scot. “I didn’t expect an easy match. You never get the Grand Slam trophy in an easy way. You have to earn it.
I’m very glad that I’m sitting next to it (trophy) now,” he said. Djokovic said a turning point was in the second game of the second set when he was serving down love-40. “Andy missed a few shots. I managed to have that crucial hold and after that I felt just mentally a little bit lighter and more confident on the court than I’ve done in the first hour or so,” he said.