Novak Djokovic created history on Sunday by winning the 2023 Australian Open, which has taken him level with all-time leader Rafael Nadal’s tally of 22 Grand Slams. He defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) to clinch his 10th title in Melbourne.
The mighty Serb, who was deported from Australia last year before he could hit a ball, announced his return to the shores in emphatic fashion, winning the title at the loss of just one set.
He was close to his vintage best in a few moments against Tsitsipas, and that was more than enough to do the trick for the 35-year-old. One could see relief, ecstasy, pride, and happiness writ all across his face at the same time after he clinched the win.
As the Greek sent a return long at match point, the Serb stood still for a moment, pointing to his head and then to his chest, signifying the sheer mental strength and belief that has made him the great champion he is today.
His initial celebration after clinching the win can be viewed below:
But that wasn’t all in terms of celebration from the 22-time Major champion. He began to bawl like a baby when he reached his players’ box to hug his team and family.
It was at this moment one could truly see how much this win meant to the World No. 1, especially given how much he has suffered in the past twelve months. Mother Dijana was also in tears as her son fell to the ground, howling and crying, with several fans also tearing up at the Rod Laver Arena.
The 35-year-old was so overwhelmed by the emotions that it took him quite a few seconds to regain his composure and return to the court.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will head into the 2023 French Open with extra determination
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are tied for 22 Grand Slams each as things stand. They will both be eyeing their 23rd Major when the French Open gets underway in a few months.
While Nadal is the ultimate favorite at Roland Garros irrespective of the situation, Djokovic will be extra motivated to claim sole ownership of the Grand Slam record for the first time in his career right in the Mallorcan’s stronghold. Nadal, on his part, would be motivated to stop that from happening.
As such, one can expect a riveting fortnight of tennis from both players at the 2023 French Open provided they are fit.