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Djokovic beats Medvedev in three sets to win ninth Australian Open

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    Agence France-Presse

Melbourne, Australia   /   Sun, February 21, 2021   /   05:50 pm
Djokovic beats Medvedev in three sets to win ninth Australian Open Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 21, 2021. (Agence France Presse/Patrick Hamilton)

World number one Novak Djokovic beat Russia's Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win his ninth Australian Open title and extend his record-breaking reign at Melbourne Park Sunday.

Djokovic demolished the fourth seed 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in front of 7,400 fans on Rod Laver Arena to end the Russian's unbeaten run at 20 matches.

In winning his third straight Australian Open, the Serb claimed his 18th Grand Slam title to move within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have 20 each, while denying Medvedev his first.

Djokovic heads into Sunday's Australian Open final unbeaten on eight previous occasions in the title match, but knowing he will need to be at his mental and physical best to overcome red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev 

The Serbian world number one has had to battle injury and extract new levels of determination just to get to the final.

An abdominal injury in the third round put him on the brink of an early exit and left him unable to train between matches.

But after his semi-final win over another Russian, Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic reported he felt fitter than at any time during the Melbourne fortnight

On Sunday night he will face an entirely different challenge against "chess player" Medvedev -- the form man of tennis who is on a 20-match winning streak.

Medvedev, the world number four, is unbeaten since last November, including a straight-sets drubbing of the Serb at the ATP Finals in London.

"He's just so solid. Also, I heard (commentator) Jim Courier calling him a master chess player because of the way he tactically positions himself on the court, and it's true," Djokovic said.

"You know, he's definitely a very smart tennis player."

Djokovic is into his ninth decider at Melbourne Park as he targets an 18th Slam title to close the gap on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have 20 each.

But the 33-year-old said while experience was clearly an advantage, Medvedev would be a formidable adversary.

The Serb holds the phenomenal record of never losing a final on Melbourne's famous blue courts in eight attempts spanning 13 years.

Djokovic will also be playing his 28th Grand Slam final. It will be the Russian's second.