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Novak Djokovic Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 10th Australian Open

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas to win 10th Australian Open
© Reuters
Novak Djokovic equals Rafael Nadal's record of 22 Grand Slam titles courtesy of a three-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic equalled Rafael Nadal's record of 22 men's Grand Slam singles titles courtesy of a three-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Australian Open.

The soon-to-be world number one prevailed 6-3 7-6[4] 7-6[5] to win the Australian Open for the 10th time in his career, and emotion took over for Djokovic as he celebrated a historic triumph with his team after a two-hour and 56-minute battle.

Taking control of matters from the outset, Djokovic brought up a pair of break points in Tsitsipas's opening service game, although the Greek managed to save both of them to hold.

However, an untimely double fault saw the first break of the match go the way of Djokovic for a 3-1 lead, and he continued to trouble Tsitsipas on serve while holding with aplomb.

Serving to stay in the first set, Tsitsipas came up with a pair of aces to delay the inevitable, as Djokovic brought up two set points on serve and needed just the one to claim the early advantage.

The momentum was with the nine-time champion, but Tsitsipas was not waving the white flag and displayed a newfound streak of resilience to largely keep Djokovic at bay in the second set.

Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts at the Australian Open on January 29, 2023© Reuters

After nine successive holds without a single break point opportunity, Tsitsipas was gifted a set point as Djokovic sent a seemingly simple backhand just wide of the tramlines at the net.

However, a stunning forehand winner saved the day for Djokovic, who eventually gained the upper hand over Tsitsipas in the tie-breaker to move just one set away from a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam crown.

There was life in Tsitsipas's legs, though, as he finally broke Djokovic's serve in the first game of the third set, but the Greek's reprieve would not last long as Djokovic broke straight back.

The rest of the third set would largely follow a similar pattern to the second, with Tsitsipas standing firm amid a succession of love holds for both players.

Having moved one game away from winning the crown at 5-4 up, Djokovic got to 30-30 on the Tsitsipas serve before the Greek came through a nervy hold, and a 15th ace of the day from the 24-year-old forced another tie-breaker.

Once again demonstrating his immense psychological strength, Djokovic stormed into a 5-0 lead in the tie-breaker and brought up three match points at 6-3 despite a mini Tsitsipas fightback.

The Greek refused to go down without a fight and managed to save two of those three Championship points, but the third was the charm for Djokovic, who witnessed one final Tsitsipas forehand sail beyond the baseline to continue his unprecedented streak of victories Down Under.

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Novak Djokovic pictured at the Australian Open on January 27, 2023
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