It wasn’t an easy match for the Serbian player. However, “Nole” ended up being superior to Dominic Thiem on the great final of the Australian Open to conquer his 8th title at Melbourne Park – and 17th Grand Slam of his career.
He needed to work hard against the Austrian power
After 2 hours of play and 3 sets played, there was the impression that Novak Djokovic wasn’t in conditions to counter the firepower of Dominic Thiem, because the Serbian 2-1 down in sets while he was showing some apathy.
But we all know how elite tennis players work – with only Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and the Serbian being included in this set of players – they almost always emerge in times of trouble to prove why they are the super champions of our time.
Djokovic recovered the concentration and the strategy he had at the beginning of the match – where he won the first set by 6-4 – and he didn’t crumble again, beating the Austrian by 3-2 after 2 very solid final sets, clear examples of his quality from the baseline and a superior efficiency on his serve.
Despite the loss, Dominic Thiem once again showed that he is clearly the player that is closer to “snatching” Grand Slam titles to tennis’ elite trio, taking into consideration that he already reached the final on the last 2 years at Roland Garros and now he reached his 3rd final at 26 years of age.
At a time where he is still growing as a player and the expected decline of the current dominators, the Austrian tennis player might have a window of opportunity in the next 4/5 years to win some important tournaments.
At the end, Thiem highlighted the importance of having been able to compete at the highest level also on hard court, having beaten two excellent opponents such as Rafael Nadal or Alexander Zverev until the final, and he was also close to surprising Novak Djokovic.
Thiem tends to be even stronger on clay, where he has more time to prepare his devastating strokes and he will certainly reach the French Open with his confidence even more reinforced, being able to cause problems to the elite trio once again.
The biggest champion in history at Melbourne Park
If ten years ago someone told Novak Djokovic that he would be the biggest winner in the history of the Australian Open, he would have probably laughed.
At the time, in 2010, he only had 1 title in Melbourne and was dealing with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s golden era.
In fact, the Swiss player had already won 4 Grand Slams in Australia and he was expected to try and challenge the record of Roy Emerson (6) in order to become the biggest winner of the competition.
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) February 2, 2020
But the emergency of the hypercompetitive Novak Djokovic prevented Roger Federer of maintaining the titles’ rhythm in Melbourne – stopped between 2010 and 2017 when they won two consecutive times – and now the Swiss legend saw the Serbian escape, with Djokovic leading this historical record by 8-6.
On the other hand, it was also clear on the present edition that Federer has been having more and more difficulties to maintain a high level of game for a long time on a single match, and that should be enough to cost him on the pursuit of any more bounty runes.
The numbers continue increasing…
With another trophy of a Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic now has 17 titles on the 4 most important tournaments of the tennis universe and that means that he is only 2 away from Nadal (19) and 3 from Federer (20).
Well, one year younger than Rafael Nadal and 6 years younger than Roger Federer, it is legitimate to think that the Serbian might be the one might be the one that is able to maintain an elite playing level for the longest time.
The Spaniard Nadal has been very affected by physical problems thanks to the huge pressure placed on his knees and abdominal area on a tennis match and Federer has a very advanced age to be able to compete regularly at the highest level, which means Djokovic should be the one that has the best conditions to stay at the top for longer.
Novak Djokovic is a 17 time Grand Slam Champion 🏆
— The SportsGram (@TheSportsGram) February 2, 2020
Will he be able to reach the number of titles of his rivals? Well, we have to wait and see, but for now, he takes on the status of number 1 of the ATP Rankings, despite having lost it to Nadal at the end of last season.
Roland Garros hasn’t been very generous to the Serbian – he only won once – unlike Nadal who already won 12 times! –
Therefore, it will be another great challenge to try and win the French tournament for the 2nd time in your career?