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Djokovic thrashes Medvedev for record-extending ninth Australian Open title

TENNIS By Reuters | February 21st 2021
Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev [REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake]

In the climax of a tournament overshadowed by COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty, Novak Djokovic remained an unbreakable force as he thrashed Daniil Medvedev to claim a record-extending ninth Australian Open title on Sunday.

The world number one’s 7-5 6-2 6-2 triumph under the lights at Rod Laver Arena secured his 18th Grand Slam title, bringing him within tantalising reach of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s all-time record of 20.

Much like Dominic Thiem in last year’s final, Djokovic faced an opponent desperate for success and his own seat at the Grand Slam table.

Unlike Thiem, who pushed Djokovic to five sets, Medvedev never really threatened.

Djokovic made a mockery of the Russian’s 20-match winning streak and his pre-match barb that all the pressure to win was on the champion.

Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia's Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Serbia's Novak Djokovic after their final match [REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake]

He broke him seven times for the match and closed out the one-sided contest with a net-rush and a brilliant leaping volley.

Having extended his unbeaten record in nine finals at Melbourne Park, the Serb roared in triumph and wrapped up his team in a group hug.

He now has won six Grand Slam titles after the age of 30, equalling Nadal’s record.

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