The Australian Open ended with the victory of the famous Serb over Stefanos Tsitsipas. Novak added $2 million in prize money to his account.
The 111th round of the Australian Open has come to an end. On Sunday, the main match of the tournament took place, in which the third and fourth seeds – Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic met. For the Serb, this final was the 10th at the AO, and for Tsitsipas – the first in his career. The age difference between the finalists is 11 years. When Djokovic played in his first AO in 2005, Stefanos was only six years old.
Results of the 14th day. January 29, Sunday
The current tournament quickly lost the two first seeds – last year’s champion Rafael Nadal (1) and the finalist of the Final Championship – 2022 Casper Ruud (2). In addition, the leader of the rating – the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who received an injury – did not participate in the competition. But Djokovic (4) and Tsitsipas (3) confidently reached the decisive match after becoming the leaders of the tournament. Therefore, it is not surprising that these players were supposed to play not only for the title of AO-2023, but also for the title of the first racket of the world on Sunday. As a reminder, Alcaraz rose to the first line of the ATP ranking after his phenomenal victory at the US Open – 2022, ended the season as the leader and held the top position for exactly 20 weeks. And now he has vacated the place on the tennis throne.
24-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas made it to the Grand Slam finals for the second time in his career and the first time in Australia. Before that, the Greek was in the semi-finals of the AO three times, but could not advance further. In 2019, he lost to Nadal in three sets, but the Spaniard also got a “lamb” at the end. In 2021, Danyil Medvedev also defeated Stefanos in three games, and in 2022, Tsitsipas took a set for the first time in the AO semifinals, but still lost to Medvedev in four games. This time, the Greek brilliantly went through the Australian grid and reached the deciding match, giving only three games to his opponents – two to Yannik Sinner (15) in the fourth round and one to Karen Khachanov (18) in the semi-finals. In addition, Stefanos hit 69 aces in six matches, which was the third most in the tournament after American Ben Shelton (85) and Russian Karen Khachanov (83). During the tournament, Tsitsipas hit 94 aces only at AO-2019.
“I want to be number 1.” How the finalists of the Australian Open — 2023 Djokovic and Tsitsipas grew up
35-year-old Novak Djokovic has long held the unofficial title of tennis king of Australia. Serbs have no equal here. He has already broken almost all possible records. He has nine victories at AO and the longest winning streak. It started in 2019 and by the current final with Tsitsipas had reached 27 matches. Thus, Novak surpassed the previous AO singles record holder Monika Seles – 26 (1991–1999). This is followed by Andre Agassi – 25 (2000–2004), Martyna Hingys – 25 (1997–2000) and Novak’s previous achievement – 22 (2011–2014). For Djokovic, this is already the 33rd Slam final in his career, which is a record among men. So Novak caught up with Serena Williams, who also has 33 finals. Only Chris Evert has more – 34.
“Why do I always have to be the bad guy?” Djokovic’s comments before the AO final
Novak and Stefanos have already accumulated quite a rich history of personal meetings. Before the final in Melbourne, they played 12 official matches, and the score was 10-2 in favor of the Serb. And at first, the Greek led in personal meetings — 2-1, won at the Masters in Toronto-2018 and Shanghai-2019. But then the Serb invariably won the next nine matches. There was, however, another victory of Tsitsipas at the demonstrative pre-season tournament in Abu Dhabi at the junction of 2019 and 2020, but it is not included in the overall score.
Well, before that, the main match between tennis players took place in the final of Roland Garros – 2021. It is curious that both tennis players on the eve of the current final pretended not to remember that match. At first, Djokovic forgot about him while giving an interview on the court, and then Tsitsipas’s “memory failed.” And this is not surprising, because then the Greek led 2:0 in sets, but did not keep the advantage and lost – 2:3.
“I don’t remember him either.” The finalists of AO-2023 synchronously forgot their main personal meeting
It is worth noting that before the AO-2023 final, Djokovic was lagging behind Nadal in terms of the number of Slam titles. The Spaniard had 22, and Novak had 21. Multiple major champion John McEnroe expressed the opinion that Tsitsipas has a chance to prevent Djokovic from matching Nadal: “I think it will be great for tennis if Tsitsipas takes the title, I really believe in it , although I consider Djokovic an absolute favorite. This is for me