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Novak Djokovic sees off Dominic Thiem to claim Australian Open


Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his match against Austria's Dominic Thiem

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his match against Austria's Dominic Thiem


Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his match against Austria's Dominic Thiem

Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open, beating Dominic Thiem 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the men's singles final.

Djokovic withstood a comeback from Dominic Thiem to win the opening set of the men's final.

Defending champion Djokovic picked up where he had left off in last year's demolition of Rafael Nadal, racing into a 3-0 lead.

But Thiem dug in to keep it to one break and took advantage of a dip in Djokovic's sky-high level to break back to 3-4.

However, Djokovic continued to pile the pressure on during Thiem's service games and a double fault from the Austrian gave the second seed the set 6-4.

Djokovic has a formidable record here when winning the opening set but Thiem made the better start to the second, this time his opponent double-faulting on break point in the third game.

Thiem was relentless in his commitment to going for broke on big points, and it cost him in the eighth game as a wild backhand handed the break back.

But Djokovic still was not mentally settled and two time violations on successive points in the next game cost him a first serve, and Thiem claimed the advantage back.

Djokovic tapped umpire Damien Dumusois sarcastically on the foot as he returned to his seat, and Thiem served out the set 6-4.

Djokovic was rattled, and his mood did not improve at the start of the third set as Thiem immediately broke serve again.

The Austrian extended his winning streak to six games before a weary-looking Djokovic finally got back on the board.

The Serbian had taken a pill after the first set of his semi-final against Roger Federer, and at 1-4 he again consulted the doctor, sitting with head bowed and shoulders slumped.

Djokovic's level lifted again at the end of the set but it was far too late to save it as Thiem took it 6-2 to move to within one set of a first slam title.

The early stages of the fourth set were crucial for Djokovic, and a saved break point in the third game was a big moment.

The second seed began serving better again and looking more stable, and he made the breakthrough in the eighth game before serving it out 6-3.

The momentum was back in Djokovic's favour and he broke Thiem to lead 2-1 in the fifth set before saving two break points in the next game.

Thiem battled hard to keep it to one break and give himself a chance but Djokovic served out the victory 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 to win a record eighth Australian Open title and a 17th grand slam trophy.

PA Media