World No.1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday dismantled Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win a record-extending ninth Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. In the climax of a tournament overshadowed by COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty, Djokovic remained an unbeatable force as he thrashed Medvedev to claim a record-extending ninth Australian Open title on Sunday. Courtesy the win, the top seed Djokovic is now within two of Swiss maestro Roger Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal’s record total of 20 major victories.Also Read - Australian Open: Ashleigh Barty Beats Jessica Pegula To Reach Semi-Finals

In a match that lasted just an hour and 53 minutes, the top seed Djokovic beat Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in straight sets. The Serbian quelled a brief rally from Medvedev in the third set, getting a break in the final game to lift the trophy for a record ninth time in Melbourne. Also Read - Australian Open: India's Challenge Ends With Sania Mirza-Rajeev Ram Loss in Quarters

Much like last year’s final against Dominic Thiem, Djokovic faced an opponent desperate for success and his own seat at the Grand Slam table. Unlike Thiem, who pushed Djokovic to five sets, Medvedev never really threatened. Also Read - Madison Keys Advances To Australian Open Semis With Easy Win Over No.4 Barbora Krejcikova

For 25-year-old Medvedev, this is the end of a 20-match winning streak that started in November 2020. This included a straight-sets win over Djokovic himself at the ATP Finals in London. This was his second Grand Slam final, having lost to Nadal at the 2019 US Open final.

In the summit clash, Djokovic broke Medvedev seven times for the match and closed out the one-sided contest with a net-rush and a brilliant leaping volley.

Having extended his unbeaten record in nine finals at Melbourne Park, the world number one Serb roared in triumph and wrapped up his team in a group hug. He now has won six Grand Slam titles after the age of 30, equalling Nadal’s record.

Djokovic was on the money from the start, breaking Medvedev in his opening service game. He then consolidated the break for a 3-0 lead before Medvedev fought back. In the fifth game, he won a high-intensity 28 stroke rally that Djokovic tried to end with a failed drop shot that set him up with break point opportunities – the first which Medvedev captured after a Djokovic smash landed straight in the net.

In the twelfth game, seeking to avoid a tie-break, Djokovic ramped up his intensity, producing a stunning backhand passing winner down the line to set up three set points. Though his Russian rival saved a pair, including one with a 214 kmh unreturnable serve, his fastest of the match to that point, a rogue forehand error cost him the set.

The pair exchanged breaks to start the second set as Djokovic continued to challenge Medvedev’s court-coverage abilities, drawing his younger opponent in with drop volleys and moving him side to side from the baseline.

The world No 1’s efforts were rewarded with a break in the fourth game which he consolidated for a 4-1 lead. It was pretty much Djokovic’s match after that, although it was not entirely one way traffic with Medvedev pushing the Serb to deuce in the seventh game.

But frustrated with his inability to manufacture a break point from that juncture, the Russian smashed a racquet and was broken in the next game as Djokovic seized the second set.

Though Medvedev willed himself into the match, the Russian couldn’t do much more than raise his hands in helplessness time and time again as Djokovic’s relentless, wall-like dominance showed no signs of cracking.

Rising to the familiar occasion, Djokovic pounced as the Russian served to stay in the match at 2-5, landing a remarkable overhead volley winner on championship point before collapsing to the ground in celebration.