Novak Djokovic wins 10th Australian Open title; equals Nadal's record 22 Grand Slam wins
In a rematch of the 2021 French Open final, Djokovic swept to a 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5) victory at Rod Laver Arena to reclaim the world No. 1 ranking.
MELBOURNE -- An emotional Novak Djokovic resumed his reign over Melbourne Park by winning a record-extending 10th Australian Open title on Sunday and crushing the Grand Slam dream of Greek trailblazer Stefanos Tsitsipas in a one-sided final.
In a rematch of the 2021 French Open final, Djokovic swept to a 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5) victory at Rod Laver Arena to reclaim the world No. 1 ranking and again deny Tsitsipas his first major crown.
Djokovic stormed to a 5-0 lead in the final tiebreaker and closed out the match with a thumping forehand down the line.
Djokovic's record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam triumph, matching Rafa Nadal's haul, was the ultimate redemption a year on from his sensational deportation from Australia on the eve of the Grand Slam due to his lack of COVID-19 vaccination.
"I have to say this has been the most challenging tournament I have played in my life," said Djokovic as he cradled the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.
"Not playing last year, coming back this year. "This is probably the biggest victory in my life considering the circumstances."
After sealing match point, the 35-year-old Serb tapped his temple then his heart before walking to the net to shake hands with Tsitsipas.
He climbed into his players box and unleashed a primal scream before breaking down in tears while hugging his mother.
The tears were still flowing after he returned to his chair and sat with a towel draped over his head.
Despite saying repeatedly he bore no grudges over his deportation, Djokovic left no one in doubt that it would fuel his success.
He had plenty of other spurs at this tournament, with heckling fans, skepticism about the severity of his hamstring injury and calls for his father Srdjan to be barred from Melbourne Park for mixing with Vladimir Putin supporters bearing banned Russian flags.
The third-seeded Tsitsipas, who gave up a two-set lead to lose to Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2021, had his chances on Sunday, including a set point in the second set, but was unable to convert.
"Novak brings the best out of me and these are the matches I've been working my entire life for," he said in a gracious runners-up speech. "He's the greatest that has held a tennis racket."
With his entourage having changed into T-shirts emblazoned with "10," Djokovic held the winner's trophy aloft once more, 15 years after hoisting it for the first time as a 20-year-old in 2008.
The Serb has no plans to slow down.
"I really don't want to stop here ... Of course, 35 is not 25," he said. "But I still feel there is time ahead of me."
Earlier at Rod Laver Arena, top-seeded Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women's doubles title, beating Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4 6-3.
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