Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Australian Open: Djokovic wins 10th Melbourne title; joins Nadal on 22 Grand Slam crowns

Novak Djokovic claimed his 10th Australian Open singles title, preserving his perfect record in Melbourne Park by beating Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) and equalling Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam crowns on Sunday night.
The historic achievement triggered an outpouring of emotion from Djokovic, who climbed into his player box to share a tear-filled moment with his team while celebrations also erupted among the sea of Serbian flags in Melbourne Park’s Garden Square.
The win also assured Djokovic’s return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since last June. The 35-year-old will replace Carlos Alcaraz in the top spot on Monday after notching his 10th tour-level victory in a row against Tsitsipas, who would have claimed the top spot himself with victory in Sunday’s final.
It was the second meeting between Djokovic and Tsitsipas in a major final. At Roland Garros in 2021, Djokovic rallied from two-sets-to-love down to defeat the Greek and claim victory on the Paris clay.
Despite falling just short of becoming the first Greek to win a Grand Slam title, Tsitsipas will return to his career-high of No. 3 in the ATP Rankings on Monday after reaching his maiden final in Melbourne.
Djokovic confidently assumed control early on the Rod Laver Arena. Although the Greek raised his game in the second and third sets to ensure some absorbing rallies, which whipped up an intense atmosphere in the crowd, the Serbian was clinical at key moments to seal a two-hour, 56-minute victory and improve his record in the Australian Open finals to 10-0. On several occasions in the second set, the Greek reacted to winning crucial points by rousing his supporters in the crowd, and the third seed fed off the febrile atmosphere to raise his level at the Rod Laver Arena.
Yet although Tsitsipas carved out the sole break point chance of the set (which doubled as a set point) at 4-5, 30/40, Djokovic found a way to pull through. He arrowed a sublime forehand winner to save the set point and held his nerve again to claim the tie-break despite having dropped three straight points to surrender a 4/1 lead.
Tsitsipas again threatened a resurgence in the third set, claiming his only break of the match in the opening game. As he so often has on the big stage throughout his career, however, Djokovic responded immediately. He broke back in the next game before clinching a third set dominated by serve – and his historic victory — with a commanding tie-break display.

Krejcikova, Siniakova clinch second straight Aus Open title

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. (AP/PTI)

Defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova continued their exceptional Grand Slam winning streak in women’s doubles by capturing the 2023 Australian Open title, here on Sunday.
Krejcikova and Siniakova posted a thrilling 6-4 6-3 victory over Japanese pair Shuko Aoyama & Ena Shibahara to clinch their seventh Grand Slam title together. The Czech duo have not lost a Grand Slam women’s doubles match since 2021, having won all three of the majors they contested last year (the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open).
The top seeds needed one hour and 29 minutes to seal the win here at Rod Laver Arena, which earned them bragging rights as the first team to defend an Australian Open women’s doubles title since Italy’s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci achieved the feat in 2014. Krejcikova and Siniakova are up to 24 consecutive match-wins in women’s doubles at Grand Slam events. Before their title run last year, they made the semifinals in 2020 and were runners-up in 2021.
“It was a pleasure to be on this court against you,” 26-year-old Siniakova said to her Japanese rivals. “Big thanks to my partner, Bara, I’m so happy we did it again. It was a nice journey and I’m looking forward to (the) next tournaments.”
The duo, who own 14 titles together on the women’s tour, first teamed up as juniors in 2013, winning three of the four girls’ doubles titles that year. “I’m really happy we’re playing our tenth year together. It’s been a very long journey and I’m really happy [with] how we are playing and how we can improve, the connection is working well and I’m really looking forward for more,” Krejcikova added.


Don't Miss

Must Read