Jan 29, 2023
Djokovic Wins Australian Open to Equal Men’s Majors Record
(Bloomberg) -- Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to claim his 10th Australian Open title and equal Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam record for men’s singles titles.
Sunday’s title win in Melbourne means the 35-year-old Serbian ties the Spaniard with 22 major titles apiece. In the women’s singles game Serena Williams holds 23 major championships in the Open Era with Steffi Graf on 22. Australia’s Margaret Court won 24 times overall.
In a raucous atmosphere at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena attended by its 84-year-old namesake, Djokovic won the first set 6-3 and saved set point against Tsitsipas in the second before winning a tie-break and again in the final third set.
“This is probably the biggest victory of my life considering the circumstances,” Djokovic said after receiving his trophy on court. “Hopefully see you next year.”
Athens-born Tsitsipas, 24, has yet to land his first Grand Slam trophy. He also lost to Djokovic in his only previous major final, 2021’s French Open.
Djokovic thanked his opponent for being respectful and said it’s definitely not the last Grand Slam effort by Tsitsipas. “You still have lots of time, much more than me.”
Djokovic won the Australian Open three times in a rwo from 2019 to 2021 but was unable to defend his title last year after being deported from the country for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
He also missed the US Open due to a vaccination requirement for international travelers which remains in place.
“This has been one of the most challenging tournaments, consider the circumstances of not playing last year and coming back this year,” Djokovic said. “I want to thank all the people who made me feel welcome and comfortable to be in Melbourne.”
This year wasn’t without controversy. Djokovic’s father skipped his semifinal after he was filmed with a group of pro-Russia fans following an earlier match
The reigning Wimbledon champion has one more record to equal this summer as his seven Wimbledon titles leave him one trophy short of Roger Federer.
(Updates with comments from champion in fourth paragraph.)
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