Novak Djokovic clinched his 17th Grand Slam title and record-extending eighth Australian Open crown with an epic five-set win over Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 after three hours, 59 minutes at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Djokovic has claimed the title every time he has reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, and he maintained that record while closing in on Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19) for most majors won by a player. The 32-year-old also joined duo as the only men to win a single major eight times, with Nadal (12 French Open crowns) and Federer (eight Wimbledon titles) having also achieved that feat. The Serbian legend is also the first man to win a Grand Slam title in three different decades since the Open era began in 1968.
In the final, Djokovic won 24 of his 29 points at the net and hit 46 winners, including nine aces. Thiem won 29 of 134 points on return of serve and committed 57 unforced errors, the same number as Djokovic. Both players committed five double faults each.
“I kind of regained my energy and strength midway in the fourth set and got back into the match. I was on the brink of losing. Dominic is a fantastic tennis player that plays with a tremendous amount of power in his shots, especially from the forehand side. He uses his slice really well. He disrupted my rhythm at one point.
“He was the better player. Probably one point and one shot separated us tonight. It could have gone a different way,” said Djokovic.
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