Tennis legend Rod Laver on Sunday took to social media to congratulate world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on his 18th Grand Slam title and 9th Australian Open triumph at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic used superb serving and his usual relentless returning and baseline supremacy to grab 11 of 13 games in one stretch and beat a visibly frustrated Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday for a third trophy in a row at Melbourne Park.
Rod Laver, after whom the main court at Melbourne Park is named, posted a heartfelt message for Djokovic after his record-extending win in the tournament.
“Brilliant work on another Australian title @DjokerNole, under so much pressure in such difficult times. You continue to show the world what a great champion you are. There was no doubt in your mind tonight – Daniil felt the full force of your will. Sublime 9!” 11-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver, who won the Australian Open thrice, tweeted.
Brilliant work on another Australian title @DjokerNole , under so much pressure in such difficult times. You continue to show the world what a great champion you are. There was no doubt in your mind tonight – Daniil felt the full force of your will. Sublime 9!
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) February 21, 2021
improved to 18-0 combined in semifinals and finals on the hard courts of the Australian Open.
Looking at the bigger picture, Djokovic has won six of the last 10 major tournaments and is assured of remaining at No. 1 in the rankings at least through March 8. That will give him 311 weeks in the top spot, breaking a mark held by Federer.
The No. 4-ranked Medvedev was appearing in his second Grand Slam final — he was the runner-up to Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open — but is still left trying collect his first such championship.
Djokovic ended the 25-year-old Russian’s 20-match winning streak. Medvedev also had won his previous 12 matches against Top 10 opponents.
Speaking after taking the Australian Open title without breaking a sweat, Djokovic thanked the Melbourne Park crowd and highlighted that his love affair with the city is only growing.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 21, 2021
“Rod Laver Arena, I love you each year more and more. The love affair keeps going. Thank you so much. It has been a rollercoaster week for me. I am eternally grateful to my team for all their support and energy. I love you guys,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic has won 18 Grand Slam titles and is just 2 away from matching the joint-record of 20 major titles held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.