Novak Djokovic won his 8th Australian Open title coming from two sets to one down to defeat Dominic Thiem 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in four hours Sunday night in Melbourne.
Djokovic remains a perfect 8-0 in the final after authoring his very first 2-1 sets down comeback in a Grand Slam final en route to his 17th overall title. And he becomes the first man to win a Grand Slam title in three different decades in the Open Era.
“This is definitely my favorite court, my favorite stadium in the world and I’m blessed to hold this trophy once again,” said Djokovic.
“I would like to congratulate Dominic on an amazing tournament, it wasn’t meant to be tonight. But you were very close to winning. You definitely have a lot more time in your career and I’m sure you’ll get more than one Grand Slam trophy in your career.”
During the ceremony, Thiem praised Djokovic.
“I would like to start by saying a huge congrats to Novak, an amazing achievement,” said Thiem. “It’s unreal what you and your team are doing, throughout all these years. You, and also two other guys have brought men’s tennis to a complete new level and I’m really proud and happy to compete and be a part of these times. I fell short today, but I hope to get revenge soon.
“I have experienced such huge support throughout these two weeks,” he added. “It is one of the best events in all sports and I am looking forward to returning next year.”
The Serb flew out of the blocks quickly breaking Thiem in his opening service game. But Thiem would later break back to level 4-all before Djokovic took the opening set.
In the second, it was Thiem’s turn to get out to a break lead, this time he would lose that edge as Djokovic leveled the set at 4-all. In that 9th game, though, things unraveled for the favorite. Djokovic was called for two serve clock violations and eventually got broken. Disgusted, he tapped the chair umpire on his shoes and then voiced his disappointment over the two calls. Djokovic would go on to lose five more games to go down 4-0 in the third.
Once on the board, Djokovic called the trainer and doctor down 1-4 for some dizziness and/or dehydration. Things were looking bleak for the No. 2 seed who appeared to lose some zip on his shots.
Thiem capitalized on Djokovic’s letdown to push to a 2-1 set lead, a deficit Djokovic has never come back from in a Slam final. But the Serb wouldn’t lose serve again as he tightened up his game as the stakes grew. After saving a crucial break point down 1-2 with a serve-and-volley, Djokovic broke Thiem at 4-3 in the fourth and for a fifth and final time at 2-1 in the fifth.
“Of course, I just feel a lot of emptiness right now,” said Thiem. “But that’s it. I know the feeling. I did after the last two in Paris. But, yeah, also already now I feel little bit of motivation to come back for the next Grand Slam. Well, if I have a little break, it’s going to be bigger.”
Djokovic finished with 46 winners to 57 unforced.
Djokovic has now won 17 Slams and stands just three behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20.
In his first hard court Slam final, Thiem falls just short for a third time in a Slam final with two losses to Rafael Nadal on his favorite court, and now to Djokovic on his home turf.
“I think it was amazing how the matches went this week,” Thiem said. “It’s great tennis. It’s a great show for everybody. Of course, it would be or it was easier for sure in a different era to win big titles. That’s 100%.
“But I’m happy I can compete with these guys on the best level. I really hope also that I win my maiden Slam when they’re still around because it just counts more.”
Djokovic also reclaims the No. 1 ranking and with little to defend until May, he figures to be on top for a long while and has a shot later this year to equal Federer’s all-time mark of 310 weeks at No. 1.
"I thought it was the most special feeling I had on the Rod Laver Arena to be honest despite all the victories I had."
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 2, 2020
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