Novak Djokovic gears up for Australian Open comeback with Adelaide International title after Sebastian Korda’s thrilling win | Tennis news
Novak Djokovic kicked off his Australian Open return by saving a championship point en route to the Adelaide International title with a thrilling victory over American Sebastian Korda.
The Serbian was in danger of a surprise loss before winning 6-7 (8) 7-6 (3) 6-4 in a grueling 3 hours and 9 minutes to extend his winning streak in Australia. 34 games, as of 2019.
Djokovic was expelled from the country before the Australian Open 2022 due to the risk of affecting public health because of his refusal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
But the 35-year-old, who received treatment for his left leg during Saturday’s semi-final win over Daniil Medvedev, will return to Melbourne this month, chasing a 10th title.
He will go there brimming with confidence after lifting the 92nd league-level trophy of his illustrious career at the end of a fascinating encounter.
Djokovic saved the match point with a score of 5-6 in the second set and, after trying to keep the game, went through a tie-break to force a winner.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion tapped his right index finger to his head as a sign of his resilience after victory was sealed when 22-year-old Korda made his final long forehand.
Djokovic currently joins Rafael Nadal for the fourth-most men’s singles titles in the Open Era, behind only Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94).
“Seb had a great tournament and put in a lot of effort today,” said Djokovic. “I think today he was closer to victory than I was. It was just a few hits, a few points.”
Djokovic has sometimes been annoyed with this coach Goran Ivanisevic, who assisted him from the penalty area or opposed himself after a point was wasted.
“I want to thank my team for treating me, forgiving me in good times and bad today,” he added. “I’m sure they don’t like it when I hang out with them, but I appreciate them being here.”
Prior to that, second seed Aryna Sabalenka won her 11th singles title on the WTA Tour but her first title in nearly two years as she beat qualifier Linda Noskova 6-2 7-6 (4) in the final. female.
By doing so, she ended an extraordinary run by 18-year-old Noskova, who beat third seed Daria Kasatkina and former Australian Open champion Viktoria Asarenka in the main draw en route to the final. her first.