Novak Djokovic beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an epic final that lasted more than four hours to win his 8th Australian Open Men’s Singles title and his 17th Grand Slam at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday.
The win was miraculous because of the recovery Djokovic showed after losing the second and third sets and being forced off the court with his medical team after complaining of exhaustion.
It looked for major parts of the match that the challenger – 26-year old Austrian Dominic Thiem, who had never won a Grand Slam – would breach Djokovic’s Melbourne fortress. Till the fourth set, from when on Djokovic brought out his best tennis and helped to produce one of the best Australian Open finals in recent years.
Djokovic took the first set 6-4 and raced to a similarly dominant start in the second set. Thiem seemed to have no answer to the Serb’s booming game in the initial stages of the match.
Thiem fought back in the second set to take it 6-4 and level the match. It was at this stage that Djokovic seemed to show negative body language. His wheels came off a little in the third set as Thiem took control to see out the set 6-2 and go one set up.
Djokovic was off court for a while at the beginning of the fourth set after he was heard complaining of exhaustion.
The pendulum swung again in the fourth set as the World Number 2 took command to win the fourth set 6-3 to force a fifth set.
Djokovic broke Thiem early in the fifth set. Thiem came up with a brave performance to keep pace with Djokovic then on, but was not able to break him despite getting a few break points.
Djokovic has now won his 17th Grand Slam title, inching closer to Roger Federer’s all-time record mark of 20 Majors.
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