Melbourne belongs to Djokovic as Serbian spirit prevails yet again
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The Rod Laver Arena crowd didn’t have to wait as long as last year for the conclusion of the Australian Open final on Sunday morning – but the end result was exactly the same. Novak Djokovic, the most consistent and unrelenting force in world tennis right now, had reigned supreme at Melbourne once again – his fourth win there overall and third in a row. In so doing, the iron-willed world number one had created history. Not even Rod Laver himself or 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer has ever won three Australian Opens in a row. No one in the Open Era had. Until now. And what spirit it took; a never-say-die attitude and a relentless determination to reach every last ball. But none of this is anything new. A man of steel, Djokovic has been doing this his whole career. And at the age of 25, the Serbian has already cemented his name amongst the all-time greats, even though he still easily has several years at the top left in him. “It’s definitely my favourite Grand Slam,” he said during his victory speech after a 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Britain’s Andy Murray in the final. “I love this court.” And just how he must love it. Murray has now been on the receiving end of a convincing battering both times he has tried to wrestle the Australian Open title out of Djokovic’s hands in the final. Sandwiched in between those two occasions was last year’s marathon encounter in which Djokovic came back from 5-2 down in the fifth set to beat Rafael Nadal. He just keeps doing it. He never gives up. He simply epitomises the fighting spirit of the ultimate competitor.
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