What’s more impressive than winning an eighth Australian Open? Coming from two sets to one down to do it.
That’s precisely what happened in Melbourne today, as Novak Djokovic came from behind to defeat no. 5 seed Dominic Thiem to capture his 17th Grand Slam victory.
After Djokovic won the opening frame, Thiem turned the tables to take sets two and three. But a ragged Djokovic slugged his way back into it for what feels like the umpteenth time, taking the match by a final score of 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
ESPN reports that Djokovic was ecstatic upon his victory, hailing this particular Grand Slam location. “Definitely my favorite court, my favorite stadium in the world,” he said at the trophy presentation.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 2, 2020
His win consolidates a record he already held in Australia: no other male player has won the tournament more than 6 times. Djokovic’s victory also catapulted him back to the number 1 position in the rankings, ahead of rival Rafael Nadal.
Thiem’s comments after the tournament were gracious and offered optimism for his own future. “I’m proud and happy I can compete in these times and this period of tennis,” he said. “I fell a little bit short today, but I hope I can get, soon, revenge.”
Djokovic also hailed Thiem’s quality of play. “He was a better player,” he said, according to Tennis.com. “Probably one point and one shot separated us tonight.”
Following his victory, Djokovic also spoke about the influence of Kobe Bryant on his career, and about the devastating effects of the wildfires raging elsewhere in Australia. It was a somber note — but also a moving reminder of the larger world.
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