Novak Djokovic clinched an astonishing ninth Australian Open title as he brushed aside Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win 7-5 6-2 6-2 at Melbourne Park.
The 33-year-old defended his title yet again with an immense display of serving and counter-punching from the baseline as Medvedev’s run of 20 successive wins came to an abrupt end.
It was another remarkable triumph for Djokovic, who has now won a staggering 18 Grand Slam titles and is within just two of the tallies racked up by rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
In a ferocious first set with the raucous crowd on Rod Laver Arena roaring the pair on, breaks of serve were exchanged as the tension mounted.
But it was Djokovic who was the more clinical at the business end of the opening set as he broke serve in fine fashion to take it 7-5 with Medvedev crushed by the setback.
The Russian deserved huge credit, however, as he swiftly banished his frustration at squandering the opening set by breaking immediately at the start of the second.
In a match that lurched wildly in terms of fortunes, Djokovic stormed back with two successive breaks of serve to re-stamp his authority on the match at a crucial point. Indeed, the Serb ended up breaking his opponent seven times over the course of the match.
Both players at times got frustrated by the relentless noise on Rod Laver Arena, and the top seed even intervened once to plead for silence on his opponent’s serve.
The third set was more of the same for Djokovic with a crucial early break of serve giving him the ascendancy over the Russian, who looked increasingly shell-shocked by the resistance and dominance from the other side of the net.
Quite simply, the Serb was utterly relentless and never gave his opponent a glimmer of an opportunity to control the match when it mattered.
Djokovic continued his ruthless dominance until the end as he sealed a surprisingly straightforward victory over a player who has repeatedly threatened of late to break through at a major.
“I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena,” Djokovic said in his victory speech. “I love you each year more and more. It’s been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much.
“On the court, he’s [Medvedev] definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life. It’s a matter of time when you hold a Grand Slam that’s for sure. If you don’t mind waiting a few more years.”
Medvedev responded: “It’s never easy to speak when you just lost a final of a Grand Slam. But I’ll try to do my best, better than on court I hope.
“First of all congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia. 18 in total is amazing and probably not your last one. I have no words to say.”
For the world number one, this was yet another crowning triumph as he clinched his 18th Grand Slam on his favourite court, and he was hailed as “invincible” by the Eurosport commentators Chris Bradnam and Frew McMillan.