Djokovic pips Nadal to win longest Grand Slam finalJanuary 29th, 2012 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Jan 29 (IANS) Novak Djokovic edged past Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam final to defend his men’s singles Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park here Sunday.
The Serbian World No.1 overcame his second-ranked Spanish rival 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in a sheer battle of endurance lasting 5 hours and 53 minutes for his fifth Grand Slam title. The previous longest Grand Slam final was recorded in the 1988 US Open where Mats Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl in 4 hours and 54 minutes.
It was Djokovic’s third title here besides his third consecutive in Grand Slams after winning the US Open and Wimbledon in 2011. He has now become the fifth player since the Open Era to win three straight major titles.
Both players are known for their tenacious approach to the game and it came to the fore in the final with an average point consisting of a five-shot rally.
Nadal looked on course for a win after securing the fourth set tie-break 7-5 and leading 4-2 in the decider with a break in hand. But the tired looking Djokovic got his energy back out of nowhere to break back and then hold serve to make it 4-4. The Serb broke Nadal again for 6-5 lead and converted his first match point for a remarkable victory.
“We made history tonight,” Djokovic said to Nadal at the post-match ceremony.
“Unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners tonight, but I wish you all the best for the season, and I wish and I hope that we will have many more matches like this, many more finals,” added the the 24-year-old, who has now beaten Nadal in their last seven meetings including the ones in the finals of the 2011 US. Open and Wimbledon.
Nadal took 80 mins to win the first set. Djokovic levelled the match after Nadal double faulted on a set point and dominated the third which he wrapped up in 45 minutes. The Spaniard took-the fourth set tie-break after saving three break points in the eighth game during which the rain stopped play for 10 minutes.
Djokovic came to the match after playing a five-set semifinal against Britain’s Andy Murray on Friday.
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- US Open: Murray wins Grand Slam title at last (Second Lead) - Sep 11, 2012
- Murray first Brit to win Grand Slam singles title (Lead) - Sep 11, 2012
- Nadal, Djokovic eyeing history in French Open final (Lead) - Jun 09, 2012
- Nadal calls the Australian Open final as his toughest match - Jan 30, 2012
- How Djokovic, Nadal reached French Open final - Jun 09, 2012
- Nadal overpowers Federer to reach Australian Open final - Jan 26, 2012
- Nadal beats Federer, wins sixth French Open crown (Lead) - Jun 06, 2011
- Australian Open: Djokovic edges out Murray, meets Nadal in final - Jan 28, 2012
- US Open: Djokovic to face Ferrer in semis - Sep 07, 2012
- Nadal to meet Federer in semis - Mar 17, 2012
- Nadal completes career Grand Slam with US Open victory (Lead) - Sep 14, 2010
- Federer claims fourth Indian Wells title - Mar 19, 2012
- US Open: Top four men cruise into semis - Sep 10, 2011
- US Open: Nadal ousts Murray, sets up final clash with Djokovic - Sep 11, 2011
Tags: australian open, break points, decider, eighth game, endurance, grand slam title, grand slams, ivan lendl, jan 29, match point, mats wilander, melbourne park, novak djokovic, open crown, rafael nadal, rain stopped play, remarkable victory, serb, spaniard, wimbledon