Australian Open 2020: Djokovic edges Thiem in thriller to win 17th grand slam title

By Sports Desk February 02, 2020

Novak Djokovic clinched a 17th grand slam title and record-extending eighth Australian Open crown with an epic five-set win over Dominic Thiem.

The Serbian required an impressive comeback against Thiem, continuing his dominance in Melbourne courtesy of an enthralling 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory after three hours, 59 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic has claimed the title every time he has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, and he maintained that record while closing in on Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19) for most majors won by a man.

The 32-year-old also joined that duo as the only men to win a single major eight times, with Nadal (12 French Open crowns) and Federer (eight at Wimbledon) having also achieved that feat.

Djokovic had been frustrated, particularly after receiving two time violations in a matter of points in the second set and he also called for the trainer in the third, but he found the right answers against an opponent who had beaten him in four of their previous five meetings.

Thiem fell short of a maiden grand slam title, losing a third major final but first away from Roland Garros, as the Austrian 26-year-old faltered late.

The duo exchanged breaks to start, but it was Thiem enduring the greater struggles on serve.

While he battled hard – saving one set point with his aggression in the 10th game – a double fault handed Djokovic the opener.

Needing a response, Thiem found a break to lead 2-1 in the second set, aided by a pair of double faults from a frustrated Djokovic.

Thiem saved a break point in the sixth game, but gave up his advantage in the eighth, when he pulled the trigger on a backhand down the line too early with a shot that was becoming a problem rather than a weapon.

But Thiem broke again in the next game, during which Djokovic received two time violations, served a double fault and committed two sloppy errors before directing words at the chair umpire at the change of ends, none of which distracted his opponent from closing out the set.

Thiem had started to assume control from the baseline, and he took the Djokovic serve in the opening game of the third after the Serbian pushed a backhand down the line wide before incredibly falling 4-0 behind.

Djokovic called the trainer at 4-1 down but there was no denying Thiem, who served out the set while showing some nerves before his opponent left the court.

"Nole! Nole! Nole!" chants rang out early in the fourth set among what was largely a pro-Thiem crowd inside Rod Laver Arena and Djokovic responded, capitalising on a sloppy game from the fifth seed to break for 5-3 before forcing a decider.

Thiem missed two forehands to give up a break to Djokovic in the third game of the fifth set before wasting two break points in the fourth.

He managed a gritty hold to stay in the match in the seventh game but was unable to deny Djokovic, who had no trouble serving it out.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Naomi Osaka backs 'brave decision' to postpone Olympics Coronavirus: Naomi Osaka backs 'brave decision' to postpone Olympics

    Naomi Osaka has given her "100 per cent" backing to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 and says the "Olympic spirit" is needed to combat coronavirus.

    The upcoming Olympic Games were pushed back from 2020 to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in close to 30,000 deaths worldwide, with more than 645,000 confirmed cases.

    The decision was widely welcomed earlier this week, and tennis star Osaka is also on board, even if it means a delay to her hopes of turning out at a home Olympics.

    The Japanese two-time grand slam champion wrote on her Instagram page: "I've been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes.

    "Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country.

    "Of course, I am disappointed that it won't happen this year, but we'll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021!

    "I support prime minister [Shinzo] Abe's brave decision and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] 100 per cent. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.

  • Coronavirus: Novak and Jelena Djokovic donate €1m for medical equipment Coronavirus: Novak and Jelena Djokovic donate €1m for medical equipment

    Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena are donating €1million for medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, the tennis star has revealed.

    The ATP Tour season has been suspended until June as the sport attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

    With the clay-court season wiped out, the French Open has been moved to September, while an emergency meeting has been organised for next week to discuss Wimbledon's status.

    In the meantime, Australian Open and All England Club champion Djokovic has put together a package to help the fight, with over 550,000 confirmed global cases and more than 25,000 deaths to date.

    "I wish to express my gratitude to all the medical staff across the world and in my native Serbia for helping everyone infected by coronavirus," the 17-time grand slam champion told a video conference.

    "Unfortunately, more and more people are getting infected every day.

    "My wife Jelena and I are putting together a plan how to best donate our resources to people in need. Our donation is €1m for the purchase of ventilators and other medical equipment."

    Djokovic last week posted on Twitter urging fans to "help our Mother Earth heal quickly".

    Responding to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, he added: "I’m sad the @olympics are postponed, but I am sure it‘s the right decision for the collective health of everyone involved. Let’s look forward to Tokyo #Olympics 2021."

    The Serbian is unbeaten in 2020, winning the ATP Cup, followed by the Melbourne major and then the Dubai Tennis Championships.

  • Coronavirus: Wimbledon 2020 decision next week as organisers confirm emergency meeting Coronavirus: Wimbledon 2020 decision next week as organisers confirm emergency meeting

    Wimbledon management will hold an emergency meeting next week to decide if this year's tournament will go ahead.

    The All England Club is due to stage the grand slam from June 29, but the event is in doubt due to the ongoing global coronavirus crisis that has decimated the sporting calendar.

    Both the ATP and WTA tours are cancelled until June 8 at the earliest, while Roland Garros officials opted to shift the French Open from May to September.

    In a statement released on Wednesday, the All England Club (AELTC) revealed it has been looking into contingency options for Wimbledon since January, working closely throughout with the UK Government and public health authorities.

    Organisers will convene to decide what steps to take, with postponement and cancellation expected to be discussed, but they have formally ruled out playing behind closed doors.

    AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: "The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.

    "The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

    "We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.