The Serbian player lifted his fifth Grand Slam after winning the longest final in history against Rafa Nadal in a match that lasted almost six hours which will no doubt enter the history books.
On two occasions Rafa Nadal’s tenacity and fighting spirit brought him back into a match that looked to be over for him. However, in the end the world number one’s concentration and skill were to win out in what was an epic dual, where both players battled it out to the point of complete exhaustion. After five and a half hours of play in the Rod Laver Arena, a fatigued Djokovic threw himself to the ground in celebration, having won the encounter 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5.
Having lost six finals against the Serb last season, Nadal came into today’s match looking for a change of mind set and play in order to finally get the better of his opponent. Things started well for the Spaniard when he broke his opponent’s serve to take a slight lead, which he was able to hold onto and take the first set 7-5.
It was then that the world number one really turned things on. With Nadal returning service well, the Serb was forced to up his game, which he did with much aplomb, winning valuable points time and time again. This, along with his robust serving, ensured that he took the second set quite comfortably. The third set continued in the same vain, with Djokovic on top of his game, repeatedly complicating things for the Spaniard.
After losing the third set 6-2, Nadal stepped things up a gear, showing his brilliance in abundance. Just as it looked as though his rival was going to finish matters off, the Spanish player pulled out all the stops to keep the set level at 4-4. It was then at 0-40 that Nadal pulled off the amazing to salvage a game that would have left him on the brink of defeat. He managed to do the same thing again soon after when the Serb was only two points away from victory, by coming from behind in the tiebreak to force a fifth set.
The Spanish player’s spirits were lifted after such a dramatic fight back, and became even more so when he broke his opponent’s service, giving him a fourth set score line advantage of 4-2 with service. However, Djokovic wasn’t going to give up that easily either, and countered explosively to leave the match tied once again. With more than five hours of play behind them, intensity levels started to wane on both sides of the net and both players began to make uncharacteristic errors. In such a precarious position, where even the smallest mistake could determine the result, it was the Serb who broke his opponent’s service and went on to send his final service home (not without complications) and triumphantly lift the trophy.
The number one’s victory is the longest in Grand Slam history, as well as being the longest match to ever take place in over 100 years of the Australian Open, but above all else it will be remembered more for being such an intense battle between two legends of the modern game.