Dream big because you can make it. –Djokovic’s advice to young tennis players
By Roger Childs
An excellent men’s singles final
Last year they deported him for not being jabbed with that substance, this year he got his revenge. Novak Djokovic, the best player in the world, made no secret of the fact that he was out to avenge his 2022 humiliation.
World number two Stephanos Tsitsipas, fought hard in the tough three set match, but the Serb super-star was just too consistent and too good to win 6-3 7-6 7-6.
In so doing he
- won his 22nd grand slam to equal Rafael Nadal’s record
- picked up a record 10th Australian Open
- Regained the number one ranking in the world.
Taking advantage of the opportunities
Djokovic started strongly comfortably winning his early service games while the Greek struggled on his serves. So it was no big surprise when Novak eventually broke his serve and cruised to a 6-3 win in the first set. However, Stephanos fought back in the second set and even had a set point at one stage. Djokovic became rattled at 4-5 but managed to take the score to a tie break. He raced out to 4-1 lead but the Greek level at 4-4 before going down 4-7 to give the Serb a two set lead.
Overall, Tsitipas was the better player in the second set, however, Djokovic won more pressure points and in the words of one of the commentators: “Tstsipas was making errors at the wrong time.”
The crowd was witnessing a highly entertaining match and there were many long, skilful rallies as both players exhibited powerful ground strokes and winners off both the forehand and the backhand. Both also served very well and there were a number of aces.
However, Djokovic was more consistent and after minor bad patches always recovered quickly.
Tsitsipas broke the Serb’s first serve in set three, but couldn’t capitalize and immediately lost his service game. In the tiebreak Djokovic stared strongly and it was soon 5-0. The Greek pulled it back to 6-5, but ultimately Novak was two strong and won the key point to give him his tenth Australian Open.
Both players were very complimentary about each other at the prize-giving and Tsitsipas praised his opponent for his place in the history of the sport and the way he helps other players to improve. Djokovic expressed his view that the Greek was destined to win a grand slam and thanked him for a match that pushed him hard. He also made reference to the tough times he had been through and his determination to win this year.
The 2023 Australian Open attracted a record 830,000 spectators to Melbourne Park and there was delight for the Aussie fans when local qualifiers Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijika won the men’s doubles title.