IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates his victory. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic thanked the blue court docket on the Rod Laver Arena after selecting up a record-extending ninth Australian Open title on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Daniil Medvedev.
With Sunday’s win, the world primary took his Grand Slam tally to 18, simply two shy of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s males’s file of 20.
“Last but not least I would like to thank this court,” the Serbian stated throughout the trophy presentation.
“I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much.”
Djokovic confronted loads of flak within the lead-up to the 12 months’s Grand Slam for requesting that organisers ease strict quarantine protocols for gamers in Australia.
He thanked the organisers for a ‘nice effort’ to host the Grand Slam amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Look, there are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia,” the 33-year-old stated.
“But I think when we draw a line in the end it was a successful tournament for organisers.”
IMAGE: Novak Djokovic reacts. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images
He additionally appreciated the efforts of his workforce and made a particular point out of his physiotherapist Ulises Badio for serving to him get well from an belly pressure he sustained throughout his third spherical match.
Djokovic additionally had phrases of encouragement for Medvedev, whose 20-match successful streak ended with Sunday’s defeat on the floodlit showcourt.
“I really like Daniil as a person, off the court he’s great,” Djokovic stated. “Always very friendly … On the court, he’s 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.”
“I would like everyone … to appreciate what he has done, 20-match winning streak in the last couple of months. Amazing.”
ATP Finals winner Medvedev acknowledged it was not his finest day and hoped he’ll quickly be holding a Grand Slam trophy after dropping his second main remaining after defeat to Rafa Nadal on the 2019 U.S. Open.
“Never easy to speak when you just lost a final of a Grand Slam,” Medvedev stated. “But I’ll try to do my best, better than on court I hope.”
“Just to tell you a small story, guys. I first practised with Novak when I was like 500-600 in the world in Monaco. He was already number one. Just won Wimbledon.”
“I thought okay he’s not going to speak to me or something, because the guy was a God for me. Because I was shy so I didn’t speak. He was asking the questions, talking to me like a friend. I was really surprised.”
“It never changed since I was 600 in the world or four in the world, you’re a great sport, great person. So congratulations.”