World no.1 Novak Djokovic captured the Australian Open title in quite possible the greatest tennis match ever played in history. He defeated the Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the final in front of a jam packed Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne park 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5 in 5 hours and 53 minutes.
This was the longest Grand Slam Final of all times, surpassing the 1998 US Open Final in which Mats Wilander beat Ivan Lendl in 4 hours and 54 minutes. The longest match at the Australian Open up until today was the Nadal vs. Verdasco 2009 encounter with 5 hours 14 minutes on the clock.
Both Djokovic and Nadal gave absolutely everything as they performed some unbelievable, almost supernatural tennis. To be perfectly fair, both men deserved to win the title, but unfortunately there can only be one winner at the end.
This time it was the Serbian who raised his hands to the air and fell flat on his back as he celebrated the fifth Grand Slam title of his career. After embracing Nadal he ripped off his shirt and let out a loud scream of joy as he walked up to his camp to thank them for their support.
“We made history tonight, and unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners. But I wish you all the best for this season and I hope that we will have many more matches like this and many more finals.” said and emotional Djokovic after the match.
As they waited for the final trophy presentation, Nadal leaning on the net and Djokovic stretching his legs that must have been cramping up after this enormous battle, someone brought them a couple of chairs to sit on.
The 15 000 strong crowd gave them a standing ovation and there is no doubt that everyone who has witnessed this epic match will remember it forever.
“This one I think comes out on the top because just the fact that we played almost six hours is incredible, incredible,I think it’s probably the longest finals in the history of all Grand Slams, and just to hear that fact is making me cry” said Djokovic.
“I’m very proud just to be part of this history.”
After the Spaniard taking the first set 7-5, Novak stepped up in the second. As he managed to bring his form in the third set, it seemed that it will be hard to take the title away from him.
But Nadal is one of the toughest fighters on tour and he wasn’t going to give up that easily. The key moment of the fourt set came in the 9th game, when Djokovic was 40-0 up on Nadal’s serve. Rafa saved all breakpoints and the crowd went wild. The spectators were chanting his name and the heavens opened. The rain had come down – was it some sort of a sign?
Play was suspended for about 10 minutes and the roof of the stadium was closed. After the the short break both warriors held serve and the tiebreak was to decide the faith of the fourt set. Nadal took it, forcing a final set.
The world no.2 broke Djokovic to take a 4-2 lead and it seemed that he had the match in his hands. But the reigning Wimbledon champion broke straight back and both players held their serves up to 5-5. The 11th game proved to seal the faith of this spectacular show of two geniuses of tennis. Djokovic broke Nadal’s serve and held his own in the following game, winning his third Australian Open title.
Djokovic defeated Brit Murray in a highly rated semifinal and Nadal overcame his greatest rival Federer to move into the final.