4.45 pm: Well, that’s that then. The end of the first Major of 2021 and it is pretty remarkable we had fans for the most of it. So kudos to that for the organisers, because we saw quite a few times how it elevated the levels in this tournament. Sport, after all, is not the same without fans. With Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic winning, the two favourites for the tournament turned up and delivered big time despite all the obstacles. While Osaka navigated the draw from hell, Djokovic tore through the challenges that came his way. Stay tuned for more post-match coverage on as Zenia D’Cunha brings to you, as she does, her takeaway from a record-extending win for the Serb.

4.40 pm: It really was a fantastic post-match ceremony when the two players started speaking (was a bit weird before that though). Do not miss the player speeches. Both men nailed it.


Djokovic with the best lines of the night: “Great guy Daniil, class act. We used to spend more time practising in Monaco. You are not calling me anymore... (both laugh) He is one of the toughest players I have faced on court.You will definitely win a Grand Slam... if you don’t mind waiting a few more years (all laugh).”

Medvedev: A small story. I first played Novak when I was 500 in the world. He was talking to me, asking me question. It never changed whether I was 500 or No 4. You are a great person.

Daniil Medvedev speech: What a lovely anecdote from the Russian about how how Djokovic encouraged him as a youngster. He finishes off saying he wished he could have made his match longer for the fans, but wasn’t his day.

Key stats courtesy Aus Open Twitter

STAT ALERT: Novak Djokovic at Australian Open: Played 90 matches, lost 8, won 82. A win % of 91.11. Not quite 100-2, but that is as good as it gets. It’s his living room, after all. What domination!

Aditya Chaturvedi: Medvedev was expected to win at least a set in the final. He just about wins enough games needed to win a set. Ridiculously good from Djokovic. He bags his 18th Grand Slam

Ashish Magotra: A majestic display by Djokovic. A performance for the ages. Coming into the final, Medvedev could do no wrong but then against Djokovic, he found out that even that wasn’t enough. Incredible.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC WINS THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN AGAIN! Nine finals, nine titles. And fittingly finishes with an overhead smash set up by a sensational return.

MATCH POINT: The crowd getting into it again: Perhaps wanting a longer final? Medvedev fights back to 30-30. But it is a match point for Djoker after a forehand goes wide.

TWO POINTS AWAY: A winner from Djoker, an error from Medvedev and this feels like we are at the end of the final.

Less than two hours into this final, Djokovic is one game away from the win. Medvedev to serve to stay in the match...

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 5-2 Medvedev: Another big point from Djokovic that gets his team and the crowd on their feet and he has a game point from 15-30 down. A superb rally follows but it ends with Medvedev netting a backhand, not the end that point deserved. Djokovivc points to his forehead: mentality monster, indeed.

Medvedev egging the crowd on: Perhaps reminding himself he is still in this match! Life in this yet? It’s 15-30 on Djoker’s serve.

 Djokovic: Plays an utterly ridiculous volley. 

 Commentator: Standing ovation, please! 

 Ivanisevic: *already on it*   

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 4-2 Medvedev: The Russian returns the favour with a hold to 15 of his own, but Djokovic at this point is looking set to finish it off on his serve.

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 4-1 Medvedev: Two games away now, the World No 1, from his 18th Major. A service hold to 15. He’s making this look ridiculously easy.

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 3-1 Medvedev: Hey, he might be losing this in straight sets but Medvedev might have won the point of the match. Great exchange between the two baseline big-hitters that finishes at the net. Sensational get from Djokovic, the Russian somehow gets his racket on hit and it is a net chord that spins the ball away from Serb’s reach. More importantly, Medvedev gets on board in the third set.

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 3-0 Medvedev: Djokovic rarely gives too many chances when he is in control of the match and Medvedev is not getting much of a look in. A hold to 30 and he leads 3-0.

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 2-0 Medvedev: DJOKOVIC BREAKS! From 40-30, Medvedev allows Djokovic to fight back and break his serve. More errors in that game, more struggles at the net.

Zenia D’Cunha: What a mental giant Novak Djokovic is! In an almost equally-matched physical match, he has taken the psychological edge completely. Medvedev is actually not playing as poor at the 6-2 suggest but the world No 1 is making small moments count in the big points.

The commentators reckon Medvedev is unravelling here, and you can sense it too. Looks like the match is slipping way too fast from him.

Third set, Djokovic 7-5, 6-2, 1-0 Medvedev: OH DEAR, DANIIL! Two double faults from Djokovic gives the Russian two break points but he cannot convert either. What follows is some good serving from the top seed and four errors from DM. Game gone.


Djokovic Medvedev
1 Aces 1
0 Double faults 2
1st serve in 55%
Win 1st serve 67%
Win 2nd serve 20%
Break points won 100%
Net points won 100 %
Receiving points won 40%
4 Winners 5
0 Return winners 1
5 Unforced errors 8
1 Return unforced errors 0
27 Total points won 20
via Aus Open website

Commentator: We thought it could be an epic, but Djokovic is turning this into a short story.

SECOND SET, DJOKOVIC 7-5, 6-2 MEDVEDEV: The World No 1 is two sets up and it is looking not-so-great for the Russian. Racket smash, frustrated muttering.... it’s unravelling for him.

RACKET SMASH: Medvedev is feeling it, folks. A racket is bent out of shape after he loses that game from deuce. It’s all Djoker now.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 5-2 Medvedev: Medvedev does well to come back from 15-40 down to force deuce but what is Djokovic if not clutch. Couple of errors from the Russian and he is now one game away from dropping the first two sets and entering unwinnable territory.

Misleading screenshot, this was Djoker requesting the umpire to ask the crowd to be quiet during points. But hey, worth a few RTs.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 4-2 Medvedev: Well, the best Medvedev could have hoped for. A 54-second service game, hold to love. Four errors added to Djoker’s tally in that game, but he might not mind that too much.

CORRECTION: It was a hold to 15 for Djokovic in the previous game.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 4-1 Medvedev: BAD NEWS, DANIIL FANS! Djokovic is flying now. A service hold at love, closed out with an ace.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 3-1 Medvedev: BREAK OF SERVE! Well, if anything, it looks like Medvedev lost some rhythm after that point was relayed. Couple of errors from the Russian’s racket from 30-30 and it is Djokovic once again in the lead.

Drama: A fan decides to get their voice heard in the middle of a rally and Djokovic stops the point and looks annoyed. Sure that fan would not see the end of this match, says the commentator. He is asking the umpire to announce “quiet between points”. The crowd was going to come into play tonight.... maybe this could be a turning point?

STAT ALERT: In 5-plus shot rallies, Djokovic is ahead 19-16 on points won in this match so far.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 2-1 Medvedev: Another window opens for Medvedev as he pushes Djokovic around the baseline this way and that to force a backhand error and go 15-30. But misses a forehand next point, then a backhand goes long. Game point Djokovivc, and he closes it out after a long rally on second serve. Another error from the Russian there. Consistency is eluding him.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 1-1 Medvedev: BREAK OF SERVE, AGAIN! Of course we are back on serve. Djokovic closes out another break of serve at the first possible opportunity. Stats will show unforced errors from Medvedev but ND pushed him so hard in that game. What depth.

Second set, Djokovic 7-5, 0-1 Medvedev: BREAK OF SERVE! Slight trouble for the Serb in the opening game of the second set, as he goes down 15-30, then 30-40. Steady from the Russian to keep the ball in play more often, gives him a break point. And the Russian converts it thanks to a ND error.

FIRST SET STATISTICS: Not much to choose between the two in the first set, but look at the net points won. One gets the feeling that’s where this could be won or lost as Medevedev’s volleying showed in the first set.

First set stats

Djokovic Medvedev
2 Aces 5
0 Double faults 0
64 %18/28 1st serve in 74 %23/31
72 %13/18 Win 1st serve 74 %17/23
80 %8/10 Win 2nd serve 38 %3/8
40 %2/5 Break points won 100 %1/1
100 %7/7 Net points won 33 %1/3
35 %11/31 Receiving points won 25 %7/28
12 Winners 12
1 Return winners 0
7 Unforced errors 9
0 Return unforced errors 1
32 Total points won 27
via Aus Open website

First set, Djokovic 7-5 Medvedev: NOVAK TAKES THE LEAD! Sensational returning from Djokovic sets up three set points for him, and the third of those was a poor missed backhand volley by the Russian. He gave that on a platter. Saves two set points with good serving but Djokovic’s return comes to his rescue again! FIRST BLOOD, DJOKER!

In Djoko-break territory again...

First set, Djokovic 6-5 Medvedev: Once again, DM will have to serve to stay in the set. Couple of winners either side from Djokovic and he holds to love too. The tension is rising.

First set, Djokovic 5-5 Medvedev: Well, that certainly helps! A love-hold from Medvedev, sealed with two forehand winners. No jitters in a game where Djokovic typically pounces on his opponents.

Medvedev to serve to stay in the set... this is typically Djoker zone.

STAT: Both men are serving at similar numbers so far. Djokovic (71%) slightly better than Medvedev (67%) in first serve percentage.

First set, Djokovic 5-4 Medvedev: Djokovic is one game away from the opening set as he does the job efficiently on his serve. Holds at 15. The final point of the game was another excellent rally but ends with Medvedev missing a simple backhand at net, arguably the biggest weakness in his all-round game.

First set, Djokovic 4-4 Medvedev: Another bruising rally in that game but Medvedev uses the angle on his serves well to pick up a couple of easy points. It is so critical, one would think, for both of them to pick up quick points on their serves when possible. Because when the rallies come, they are going to be brutal.

First set, Djokovic 4-3 Medvedev: The top seed races to a 40-0 lead on his serve and then misses a forehand. For starters, he is moving really well by the way. In case you were wondering, no hindrances evidently. Closes the game out with a fabulous volley, set up by a deep forehand. Both men are in rhythm now and the rallies are starting to live to the pre-match promise.

First set, Djokovic 3-3 Medvedev: And now it is Medvedev’s turn to hold to love! Both men have consolidated their breaks well so far in this set. Djokovic is being forced into making a few more errors now.

First set, Djokovic 3-2 Medvedev: ON SERVE AGAIN! What a game from Medvedev. It was just starting to look like Djokovic was going to run away with this set but a missed forehand at 15-15 from the Serb gives a small chance for the Russian. And he follows that up with one of the rallies of the night (might not see many better) where both men went at each other from the baseline. ND’s drop shot is in the net and gives DM two break points. The Russian takes the game when Djokovic misses an overhead smash from the sidelines.

Ah well, if that rally in the 5th game of the first set is anything to go by, we are going to be here for a while.

First set, Djokovic 3-1 Medvedev: Medvedev needs an easy hold here but he’s getting pushed. Even if not for this set, but for the match and his chances. He opens up a 40-15 lead with a few quick points but Djokovic pushes him in the next two rallies, the Russian just about manages to hold at 30.

First set, Djokovic 3-0 Medvedev: How do you a player is in the zone early doors? When he breaks serve and consolidates it with a love hold. Djokovic is off to a flier!

First set, Djokovic 2-0 Medvedev: BREAK OF SERVE! A window of opportunity early for Djokovic at 15-30 as Medvedev is unable to find his hitting rhythm. He then nets a forehand to face two break points and comes up with a booming forehand winner. But Djokovic converts the 2nd BP after a good rally, and that was set up by another one of his trademark returns. What a start for the Serb.

If you are in the mood for some numbers (and to truly realise how good the Serb is), read about Djokovic’s statistics at the Aus Open here.

First set, Djokovic 1-0 Medvedev: As solid a start as Djokovic could have hoped for when he woke up this morning. Starts the night with an ace, plays a couple of good one-two punches and holds to 15 with a wide unreturned serve. Easy does it.

Djokovic to serve...

2.15 pm: The players are on the court! This promises to be a cracker, folks. Well, not quick like a cracker because it is potentially going to go the distance but promises to be exciting for sure. Drama won’t be in short supply. Watch out for how these two gentlemen play the crowd too.

STAT ALERT: The win % of Djokovic at Aus Open is ridiculously good. Here’s how it compares to the best surface records of the game’s greatest.


 Player  Event  Record  Winning %
 Rafael Nadal  Roland Garros  100-2  98%
 Novak Djokovic  Australian Open  81-8  91%
 Pete Sampras  Wimbledon  63-7  90%
 Roger Federer  Wimbledon  101-13  88.6%

Zenia D’Cunha: Given the styles & strength of Djokovic and Medvedev, this could be a long, physical, intense battle which deserved five sets. Good luck to all live bloggers.

2.05 pm: Before the men’s singles final... read the feature on Naomi Osaka by’s tennis writer Zenia D’Cunha.

Aus Open: With fourth Major, superstar Naomi Osaka sets an important benchmark for women’s tennis

2.00 pm: The task in front of Medvedev is possibly the joint-hardest in tennis right now: like beating Nadal at Roland Garros, beating Djokovic at the Aus Open final is as tough as it gets. The Serb has NEVER lost a final at this event.

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 4-3

2020 ATP Finals, London, round-robin: Medvedev bt Djokovic 6-3, 6-3

2020 ATP Cup, Sydney, semi-final: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

2019 Cincinnati, semi-final: Medvedev bt Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

2019 Monaco, quarter-final: Medvedev bt Djokovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

2019 Australian Open, round of 16: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3

2017 Eastbourne semi-final: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-4, 6-4

2017 Davis Cup, World Group Round 1, Nis, Serbia: Djokovic bt Medvedev 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-0 ret

Form guide

The world No 1 is into his ninth decider at Australian Open but it has been a rollercoaster ride to get there, with Djokovic uncharacteristically dropping five sets as he battled an abdominal injury that nearly forced him to pull out.

On the other hand, Medvedev has dropped just two sets in his first-ever five-set win and is unbeaten since last November, that includes a straight-set drubbing of the Serb at the ATP Finals in London. He has won the Paris Masters, ATP Finals and ATP Cup during this run, the latter two being a tournament where only the cream compete.

Djokovic says going unbeaten in eight Australian Open finals will give him confidence in Sunday’s decider, but he’ll need more than that to overcome the Russian who has become “the man to beat” in the Serb’s own words.

01.40 pm: Medvedev has the best form of any men’s player over the past few months – a 20-match winning streak dating back to November.

During Medvedev’s flawless run he has won titles at the Paris Masters, the ATP Finals in London and the ATP Cup with Team Russia.

The Russian will move to second in the world rankings with a win on Sunday – the first man other then Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic or Andy Murray to occupy a spot in top two since July 2005 when Lleyton Hewitt was ranked two, behind Federer. Will move to number three if he loses.

Path to the semi-final:

1st rd: bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4

2nd rd: bt Roberto Carballes (ESP) 6-2, 7-5, 6-1

3rd rd: bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB x28) 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0

4th rd: bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

Quarter-final: bt Andrey Rublev (RUS x7) 7-5, 6-3, 6-2

Semi-final: bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5

01.39 pm: Djokovic’s chance of taking a record-extending ninth Australian Open crown looked in jeopardy just over a week ago when he suffered a potentially tournament-ending abdominal injury in the third round against Taylor Fritz.

But he battled back with the help of painkillers to win in five sets and his injury has improved remarkably since, despite not training between matches.

“This is the best I’ve felt in the entire tournament,” said Djokovic after ending the dream run of Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev to reach his ninth Australian Open final.

“I could swing through the ball. No pain. The best match so far. Couldn’t be better timing for me to play my best tennis.”

Path to the semi-final:

1st rd: bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 6-1, 6-2

2nd rd: bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

3rd rd: bt Taylor Fritz (USA x27) 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2

4th rd: bt Milos Raonic (CAN x14) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4

Quarter-final: bt Alexander Zverev (GER x6) 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)

Semi-final: bt Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

01.36 pm: The head-to-head records... Djokovic leads 4-3

2020 ATP Finals, London, round-robin: Medvedev bt Djokovic 6-3, 6-3

2020 ATP Cup, Sydney, semi-final: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

2019 Cincinnati, semi-final: Medvedev bt Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

2019 Monaco, quarter-final: Medvedev bt Djokovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

2019 Australian Open, round of 16: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3

2017 Eastbourne semi-final: Djokovic bt Medvedev 6-4, 6-4

2017 Davis Cup, World Group Round 1, Nis, Serbia: Djokovic bt Medvedev 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-0 ret

01.30 pm: Hello and welcome to our coverage of the men’s singles final of the 2021 Australian Open between defending champion Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic heads into the final unbeaten on eight previous occasions in the title match, but knowing he will need to be at his mental and physical best to overcome red-hot Russian.

The Serbian world number one has had to battle injury and extract new levels of determination just to get to the final.

An abdominal injury in the third round put him on the brink of an early exit and left him unable to train between matches.

But after his semi-final win over another Russian, Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic reported he felt fitter than at any time during the Melbourne fortnight

Today, he will face an entirely different challenge against “chess player” Medvedev – the form man of tennis who is on a 20-match winning streak.

Medvedev, the world number four, is unbeaten since last November, including a straight-sets drubbing of the Serb at the ATP Finals in London.