Novak Djokovic has closed the gap on men’s Grand Slam record leaders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal after claiming his ninth Australian Open title.
The 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over fourth-seed Daniil Medvedev cemented the Serbian star’s 18th major victory, now just two behind Federer and Nadal atop the all-time list.
In scorching fashion, Djokovic handled the Russian with some ease, with the match duration running just shy of two hours in a straight sets win.
Medvedev entered the final with a winning streak of 20 matches and would push the world No.1 to an exciting first set.
Djokovic claimed a late break to win the opening set and didn’t look back on his way to another Australian Open victory.
Speaking on continuing to compete at the highest level and reaching the feats of Nadal and Federer, Djokovic stated the trio aren’t giving it up just yet.
“Roger and Rafa inspire me,” Djokovic said on Sunday night, dubbing the trio “The Three Knights of Tennis” after Medvedev branded them “cyborgs”.
“I think as long as they go [on playing], I’ll go.
“I think in a way it’s, like, a race who plays tennis more, I guess, and who wins more. It’s a competition between us in all areas. But I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.
“Roger, Rafa, myself are still there for a reason. We don’t want to hand it to them [younger players] and we don’t want to allow them to win Slams. I think that’s something that is very clear. Whether you communicate that message or not, we are definitely sending that vibe out there. I’m sticking to that.
“Whether I think about winning more Slams and breaking records – of course. Of course, I do. And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in majors, trying to win more major trophies.”
The ‘big three’ have now won 58 of the past 71 Grand Slams titles, dating back to Federer’s 2003 title at Wimbledon.