In the process of winning an unprecedented ninth career Australian Open title before a roaring Sunday crowd at Melbourne Park, top-seed Novak Djokovic went past Roger Federer to reach another astounding landmark.
After battling through an injury in his heroic third-round win over American Taylor Fritz, the Serb looked in his element as he swept past Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final to taste glory again.
The World Number 1 is now the holder of 12 Grand Slam titles on hard court, which is the most by any player.
Going into the title clash against the World Number 4, the Serb was tied with Federer at 11 championship wins in Majors on hard courts. However, his 18th career Grand Slam title has now put him on top of the all-time list which features yesteryear stalwarts Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi at rank numbers 3 and 4, respectively.
‘Pistol Pete’ finished with 7 career Grand Slam titles on hard courts, while Agassi won 6.
With concrete not being his preferred surface by any stretch of the imagination, it was hardly a surprise to have Rafael Nadal trailing at Number 6 on the list.
Coming off a semifinal rout of Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Russian was expected to make a good feast of things in the title clash against Djokovic. However, the Serb simply overwhelmed the Russian in a scintillating display, rifling winners off his handle and forcing Medvedev into errors on his serve.
Djokovic started off the proceedings in top gear and didn’t let the intensity drop for once.
The Russian, who whipped some unstoppable shots past the hapless Greek in his last-four sweep, seemingly wilted in the face of relentless attacks by the World Number 1.
Medvedev’s serve, which is otherwise one of the best in contemporary men’s tennis, was breached as many as seven times as he had no answers to the Serb’s attacking forays into the net.
After taking the opening set 7-5, Djokovic cranked up the heat even more on the Russian and before he even knew what hit him, Medvedev was trailing by two sets and down a break in the third.
There was no way back for the Russian thereafter as the Serb gave the finishing touches to a stunning performance to close out a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win.