Twelve months after exiting the Australian Open with fitness, form and career doubts swirling, Novak Djokovic on Sunday struggled to keep his emotions from reducing him to tears.
The Serb world no 1 had just lifted the Norman Brookes trophy for a record seventh time, after completing a Wimbledon, US Open and and Australian Open hat-trick that would have seemed scarcely possible this time last year. In the process, he became first male player to win three or more consecutive Grand Slam titles on three separate occasions.
The pair’s only previous final in Australia, in 2012, developed into a record-breaking 5 hour, 53 minute slugfest – the longest in Grand Slam history. But his 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 rout of Rafael Nadal saw him stretch his lead at the top of the world rankings, just a few months after he plummeted outside the top 20 for the first time in 12 years.
This victory extended his win-loss record against Nadal to 28-25 and squared the Grand Slam final count between the pair at 4-4. The Serb is now just two behind Nadal’s total of 17 Grand Slams and five shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20.
Here’s a look at all the big number
8 Aces 3
0 Double Faults 2
34 Winners 21
9 Unforced Errors 28
5/8 Break Point Conversions 0/1
89 Total Points Won 53