Finger to the temple, then to the heart and then to the genital area.
Redemption comes tearfully and with a howl.
Don't-le, don't-le, don't-le!
”, bellows the Melbourne head office, where Novak Djokovic reduces Stefanos Tsitsipas under the spotlight (6-3, 7-6(4) and 7-6(5), after 2h 56m) and closes a two-week military walk.
He has lost a set throughout the tournament, when he was limping on his left thigh, and the Greek does not represent a major obstacle in an outcome written on a scientific basis: the
formula is synonymous with accuracy, and places the Serbian this Sunday in the precise point you wanted.
With his tenth coronation in the
Oceanic, 22nd largest, equals Rafael Nadal at the top of history –also the German Steffi Graf– and regains command of the circuit, unseating Carlos Alcaraz from Murcia.
Tsitsipas and Djokovic, so different and so equal
Back after the media
of a year ago, Djokovic, 35, celebrates in his Australian lair under the motto of the young Spaniard ("head, heart and coj...").
There are 28 consecutive victories on this track, unbeaten since 2018;
Probably none as sought after as the latter, formidable from start to finish and with a special seasoning.
He buries his head in the towel for a long minute and cries.
He breaks free.
His memory travels back and he emotionally remembers those bad days.
“Serbia and Greece are two small countries.
To the children who have seen this game, keep dreaming;
Dream big, don't let anyone stop you from dreaming.
It doesn't matter where you come from, the more challenges you have, the stronger you will be”, says the third oldest champion of the tournament after Ken Rosewall (37) and Roger Federer (36).
“Sometimes I bring out the worst in myself, on and off the track, so I appreciate your patience.
Only they know what we have been through in the last four or five weeks ”, Nole addresses his relatives and his team.
“It has been one of the most complicated Grand Slams that I have played, taking into account all the circumstances.
I thank all the people who have made me feel comfortable here in Australia.
It is the most important victory of my career ”, he completes in the epilogue,
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic lifts the trophy after winning the Australian Open against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas by (3-6, 6-7 and 6-7).
With his tenth title in Melbourne, the Serbian is the new world number one and equals Rafa Nadal's 22 Grand Slam titles. DAVID GRAY (AFP)
Djokovic kisses the Norman Brookes Cup that accredits him as the winner of the Australian Open.
The Serbian tennis player has had a difficult match, where his rival has made things very difficult for him despite having lost in three sets. MANAN VATSYAYANA (AFP)
The Serbian tennis player receives the affection of the public after winning against Tsitsipas.
After Nadal, who won Roland Garrós in 2005 and 2022, Djokovic is the second male player to win the same title more than 15 years apart.
His first win in Australia was in 2008. HANNAH MCKAY (REUTERS)
Novak Djokovic throws his racket after the victory against the Greek tennis player Tsitsipas. Dita Alangkara (AP)
Novak Djokovic celebrates with his family the victory at the Australian Open.
Aaron Favila (AP)
Djokovic celebrates the victory at the Australian Open after defeating the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas by (3-6, 6-7 and 6-7). MANAN VATSYAYANA (AFP)
Tsitsipas congratulates Djokovic after his victory.
The Greek tennis player has lost his second major final, after the one he lost to precisely the same rival at Roland Garros 2021.Mark Baker (AP)
The public reacts during the game.
LUKAS COCH (EFE)
Tsitsipas shows his sadness after losing the second set against Djokovic (6-7). Dita Alangkara (AP)
Djokovic, during the final.
Aaron Favila (AP)
Tsitsipas celebrates a point against Djokovic.
JAIMI JOY (REUTERS)
Djokovic falls to the ground during the match.
HANNAH MCKAY (REUTERS)
Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas, during the final of the Australian Open.
JOEL CARRETT (EFE)
Djokovic throws the ball to Tsitsipas during the final. MARTIN KEEP (AFP)
Tsitsipas prepares to turn the tables on Djokovic.
Aaron Favila (AP)
Djokovic hits the ball during the Australian Open final.
LOREN ELLIOTT (REUTERS)
Djokovic and Tsitsipas, during the match.
The Serbian tennis player manages to take the first set of the final. WILLIAM WEST (AFP)
Djokovic hits the ball against Tsitsipas. PAUL CROCK (AFP)
Tsitsipas manages to win the first game without suffering with his service. MARTIN KEEP (AFP)
Novak Djokovic, this Sunday during the final of the Australian Open.
DAVID GRAY (AFP)
Melbourne Park center court during the Australian Open final. CARL RECINE (REUTERS)
Tsitsipas and Djokovic pose this Sunday with the trophy moments before the Australian Open final begins. Ng Han Guan (AP)
Novak Djokovic greets the crowd upon arrival at Center Court at Melbourne Park this Sunday.
LUKAS COCH (EFE)
Supporters of the Serbian tennis player cheer on Djokovic. DAVID GRAY (AFP)
Stefanos Tsitsipas, upon his arrival on Center Court at the Australian Open final.
DAVID GRAY (AFP)
Djokovic sent a message as soon as he jumped onto the track, stripped for the first time since the tournament began of the compression bandage that had wrapped his left thigh until now.
He steps on the Serbian firm, strong, resounding, coming to tell the Greek that he is fine and that he is going to play what he wants here;
that is, at a devastating rhythm, metronome in hand,
, from one side to the other without stopping until suffocation.
Cadence and more cadence, in spin mode.
He replies Tsitsipas face to face, but that infernal rattling leaves him breathless as the exchange hardens and he loses ground, too many concessions with the backhand.
Out there, Nole finds a mine and hits again and again with his own, a katana that defines the first set.
The one from Belgrade closes it in 36 minutes, relentless, conceding only one point with his first serves and four with his seconds.
Tsitsipas is not fine with his and the flight penalizes him.
Indeed, he is playing what Djokovic wants, a flat and rectilinear script, anesthetized exchanges and intention in each hit;
for him, there is no transition ball, each and every one of them is part of a sophisticated strategy.
Under this format, the Greek has no choice but to experiment and launch himself: step forward or definitive fall into the void.
So as he can, with great difficulty and with that indisputable quality that he treasures, he tries to get out of the hornet's nest by going on an adventure.
15 years after his first Grand Slam triumph, it still means so much to @DjokerNole 🏆#AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/1To4eWIJIJ
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2023
Vary heights, tangle alternating speeds, angle the ball and begin to break the linearity imposed by the Serb.
This one is no longer so comfortable and it gets hot.
He understands that excessive noise is made from one side of the stands during the action and he scolds the chair umpire;
he turns to his
and rustles his trainer, accustomed to enduring the downpour;
he interrupts the serve and the stands (Greek sector, of course) boo because he wants there to be an end;
and when he has everything in his favor, he sends a setback down the hall that provides a golden opportunity for the rival, who betrays himself and speculates.
Instead of biting, Tsitsipas tempors and an impressive right hand sends his chance to the brink.
The Athenian has all the seasonings, but in terminal circumstances he tends to lose clarity.
That is, he fails when he shouldn't.
He flies that first option and then, when he has done the most difficult thing, balance the adverse 1-4 in the tiebreaker and reverse the emotional trend of the
, bites her and sends a couple of times to the net from apparently comfortable positions.
He does not end up having a fortune, also caught between two currents: the giants that were ahead – he has defeated all three, twice each – and the new batch that comes from behind, added stress by Alcaraz, Sinner and company.
His one-handed backhand is delightful, but he mentally chases a jump that he can't quite find.
He crashes and crashes into the wall.
He does not lack faith or ambition, much less tennis.
Once again, however, the duel is on Djokovic's cutting racket.
He does not want the biggest debate in Belgrade.
Djokovic celebrates the victory with his mother.
DAVID GRAY (AFP)
In the stands, the Serbian descent prevails and the Greek appears a couple of times, those two moments in which his boy has missed the trains.
It's Nole's party,
, his countrymen shout to the master and lord of Australia, shared custody of history with Nadal and again, at the top of the circuit;
374 weeks already.
Once again in the attic, he opens this 2023 intimidating, marking territory – full of victories (12) and titles (two out of two) – and setting a disturbing horizon for the rest, who once again see him as the adversary to beat.
He wants it and has it all the Serb, eternally dissatisfied, voracious and hierarchical.
He had a pending account in the Antipodes and he settled it in a big way, infallibly, in his own way.
As in the old days, Djokovic triumphs in Melbourne.
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