In the end, the defending champ simply would not be denied. Novak Djokovic is the winner of the Australian Open once again, taking home his second title in a row in beating Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Nadal, who beat living legend Roger Federer in the preceding semifinal match, pushed Djokovic to the limit, but could not take down the top player in the men’s game. Djokovic ended the dramatic match by winning in the 53rd minute of the sixth hour of the match, which ran 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5.
Nadal contested every point throughout the long evening. In fact, Djokovic had to overcome a break point in the fifth set to avoid handing the match, the longest Grand Slam singles final ever in professional tennis, to Nadal. The victory was Djokovic’s fifth Grand Slam title and is his third in a row, leaving little doubt who is the top dog in the hotly contested men’s pro tour.
“It was obvious on the court for everybody who has watched the match that both of us, physically, we took the last drop of energy that we had from our bodies,” Djokovic explained graciously after the victory. “We made history tonight and unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners.”
Djokovic, 24, is now one of only a handful of men to ever win three consecutive Grand Slams since 1968. The others are Nadal himself, Federer, Pete Sampras, and Laver. Nadal also lost to Djokovic in the previous two Grand Slam title matches. For bettors who place bets at places like www.ladbrokes.com, it will most likely more predictable who’s going to win the next final between the two of them.
Nadal remained gentleman-like during the trophy presentation, quipping, “Good morning, everybody.”
Djokovic said the victory was the most rewarding yet of his major championships.
“This one I think comes out on the top because just the fact that we played almost six hours is incredible, incredible. I think it’s probably the longest finals in the history of all Grand Slams, and just to hear that fact is making me cry, really. I’m very proud just to be part of this history,” he said.