Melbourne (Australia) – January 29, 2012 – Novak Djokovic has won the longest Grand Slam final in history to defend the men’s singles crown, downing Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5. The Serbian came from 4-2 down in the fifth set to win in 5h 53min to defeat the Spaniard for the third straight Grand Slam final. It takes his Grand Slam tally to five and marks the first time he has defended a Grand Slam title.
World no.1 showed a terrific display against no.2 seed Spaniard Rafael Nadal today, capturing his 3rd Australian Open crown and 5th Grand Slam title, coming back from a set down and a break down in a decider to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in 5 hours and 53 minutes.
Djokovic emerged with a $2.3million winner’s cheque and the satisfaction of overcoming three sizeable obstacles – having 24 hours less to recover from that mammoth semi-final, giving up a first-set lead in the final and coming back from the dead in the deciding set.
About Novak Djokovic
Novak embarked on his stellar career path when he was 14, in 2001, a year he finished as European champion (singles, doubles, team). He won gold in San Remo with his national team (‘the Blues’) that year, while they came second at World Championships. The following season he continued to impress with great matches and became the best under-16 player of the old continent, having won the prestigious ‘La Boule’ and ‘La Poet’ tournaments in France, previously won by today’s great tennis stars such as Hewitt, Grosjean, and Roddick. He was also victorious at the prestigious Prince’s Cup in Miami, as well as the ITF tournament in Pancevo (under 18) where he beat rivals up to three years older than him. After five ITF tournaments played, he became the 40th best junior tennis player in the world.
Novak had a historic 2011 season on the ATP World Tour. He’s become the new king of tennis. He has become the first man ever to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies in the same year. Nole had an impressive winning streak – 43 matches won in a row overall (41 this season), dating back to the Davis Cup finals in December, that ended in Roland Garros semi-final when he lost to Roger Federer. Novak completed a run that is unmatched among active players. Only Guillermo Vilas with 46 straight victories in 1977, and Ivan Lendl with 44 from 1981-82 had longer streaks. To win more than fourty straight matches on different surfaces, in different conditions, against top players is absolutely fantastic, historic achievement. Nole went a half year without losing, clinched seven, of the 43 victories, over Nadal and Federer.