Djokovic equals record with 22nd Slam, returns to No. 1

Djokovic equals record with 22nd Slam, returns to No. 1

Novak Djokovic’s victorious career gained even more expressive numbers this Sunday, when the Serbian won his 10th Australian Open and 22nd Grand Slam trophy, thus equaling the record for the most titles in tournaments of this size. In addition, he will also return to the top of the world ranking. For this, Djokovic won the final in Melbourne against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, number 4 in the world, by 6/3, 7/6 (7-4) and 7/6 (7-5) in 2h55 of departure at Rod Laver Arena .

Djokovic now shares the record for the most Grand Slam titles with Spanish rival Rafael Nadal, both with 22 titles. Behind them, was Roger Federer with 20. In addition to the ten trophies in Australia, the Serbian has seven from Wimbledon, three from the US Open and two more from Roland Garros. Djokovic has 28 straight Australian Open wins and hasn’t lost a game since 2018. His other nine titles in Melbourne were in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Record holder for weeks at number 1 in the world, with 373 in total, Djokovic has not topped the ranking since June last year. He started the Australian Open in fifth position, but without points to defend, since he did not play in the last edition. The Serb’s arrival at the top caps a 20-week spell with 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the rankings.

Third tennis player in history with 10 titles in the same Slam
Major champion of the Australian Open, Djokovic is the second man to win 10 or more titles in the same Grand Slam. The first was Rafael Nadal, with his 14 Roland Garros titles. And besides them, the Australian Margaret Court, owner of 24 Slam titles in women’s tennis, accumulates 11 conquests at home.

Now with 93 ATP titles in 132 finals contested, the experienced 35-year-old still surpasses Nadal on the tour and is now the fourth biggest tournament winner. Ahead of him, only Jimmy Connors appears with 109, Roger Federer with 103 and Ivan Lendl with 94.

Serbian lost just one set during the tournament
Despite having arrived at the Australian Open with doubts about his physical condition, due to a muscle injury to his left thigh suffered three weeks ago, in the semifinals of Adelaide, Djokovic lost only one set in the tournament. This happened against the Frenchman Enzo Couacaud in the second round, when the discomfort in his leg was even more evident.

In the first week, the Serbian also passed Roberto Carballes and Grigor Dimitrov. From the round of 16, physical oscillations became rarer, and he also won 3-0 against Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul.

11 wins in 13 games against Tsitsipas on tour Overtaken
by Djokovic on Sunday, Stefanos Tsitsipas played in his second Grand Slam final at the age of 24. He had also lost to the Serbian in the Roland Garros decision in 2021. The clash history now marks 11 to 2 for Djokovic, who has 10 straight wins. The Greek would also have a chance to reach the top of the rankings in the event of a title. And he could also become the first player from his country to win a Grand Slam.

How much is the Australian Open
title worth The title in Melbourne is worth 2.97 million Australian dollars, which is equivalent to US$ 2.11 million at current prices, and 2,000 ranking points. The runner-up receives the equivalent of US$1.15 million plus 1,200 points. With his victorious career, Djokovic has already received more than US$ 164 million in awards on the circuit. Tsitsipas, who has nine titles in his career, accumulates a prize of US$ 23.6 million.

Dominance in the first set, comeback in the second and balance in the third

Tsitsipas led the aces statistics in the match by 15 to 7, and also the winners statistics by 40 to 36. But the Greek committed 42 unforced errors against the Serbian’s 22. This Sunday’s match had just three service breaks, two for Djokovic, who created five break-points, and only lost one service game.

The first set was largely dominated by Djokovic, who faced no break-points and gave up just five points in his service games. The Serb already started the match putting pressure on Tsitsipas’ service games and it didn’t take long to get the only break in the partial. He opened 3/1 on the scoreboard and maintained the advantage until the end of the set without taking any risks. Each player had nine winners in the set, but the Greek made 11 unforced errors to just seven for the Serb.

With more balance, the second set followed entirely without breaks until the tiebreak. Tsitsipas faced no break-points, but he will greatly regret the passivity he had in his only break-point chance. The Greek even had a set-point when he was leading by 5/4 and played a rally with 15 changes of the ball, in which he was very defensive and without taking the initiative for the point. All the better for Djokovic, who found the parallel open and saved himself with a forehand winner.

During the tiebreak, Tsitsipas played very poorly and committed five unforced errors, four of them on the forehand. And the Serb still gave him a chance. Djokovic led 4-1 and served when he lost two straight points with a backhand error and a double fault. Even so, the instability of the rival made it possible for the now ten-time champion to expand his advantage in the match. Tsitsipas was 13-10 on set winners, but made 17 errors to 11.

With two sets to zero ahead, Djokovic also had the record in favor. After all, he suffered just one comeback in matches like that, against Jurgen Melzer on clay at Roland Garros in 2010. There was no lack of fight and will to win for Tsitsipas, who managed a break of service right away, but the Serbian sought an immediate draw. For several moments, the Swedish referee Louise Engzell had to warn and control the public’s manifestations, including between the first and second serves and also during the points dispute.

The partial remained balanced and the Greek made two great service games, when he lost by 5/4 and 6/5, to force a new tiebreak. Again, Djokovic opened up a huge lead early on. He slotted in a return winner on the parallel and counted on a Tsitsipas forehand error to make it 3-0. Afterwards, he served very well in two straight points and established 5-0 on the scoreboard. So, it was enough to keep the service and play with a safety margin to conquer another victory and the 22nd Grand Slam title of his career.


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