World No.2 Novak Djokovic regained the Australian Open 2020 title for a record-extending 8th time after defeating Dominic Thiem in a thrilling-five setter 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the finals. With this victory, he becomes the first man in the open era to win a Grand Slam in three different decades.
In all, it was a stunning match from Djokovic, who struck 46 winners to 57 unforced errors and converted an impressive five of twelve opportunities. Thiem struck nine more winners but ended the match with 57 unforced errors – 16 in the final set – as the Serbian’s relentless accuracy proved too strong.
Novak Djokovic started strong by winning the first set
Djokovic raced away to a 3-0 lead after 13 minutes, edging with a break. Thiem got on board as he held his serve at 3-1 with the Serbian not keeping anything easy for the Austrian.
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The 26-year-old soon find his range as he broke Djokovic after a huge forehand winner and a backhand error from Djokovic. He turned the set around with some big hittings to even it to 4-4.
Djokovic then changed gears while Thiem was serving to stay in the set as he earned a set point. Thiem denied the set point, fetching a miss from his opponent’s forehand. However, he threw away the set after committing a double fault on the second set point. Djokovic closed the opening set 6-4 in 52 minutes.
All of Thiem’s 5 service games were finished at deuce. The Austrian No.1 could manage to win only 23% of his second serve points in the opening set.
Dominic Thiem made a comeback in the second set
Thiem got his head held high in the second set as he secured his service game before breaking Djokovic for the second time in the match, foreshadowing the momentum swing.
However, Djokovic roared back into the set after breaking Thiem at 4-4 and the crowd joined him. There were chants ‘Nole-Nole-Nole’ in the Rod Laver Arena as the World No.2 restored parity.
In the ninth game of the set, Djokovic received a time violation warning and he lost concentration to gift two break chances to Dominic. He received another time violation on the break point and lost the first serve. On the second serve, Djokovic made a forehand unforced error as Thiem clinched the break. He then served out the second set 6-4 in 50 minutes.
Thiem broke twice to clinch the third set
The No.5 seed rushed into the 4-0 lead in the third set, breaking Djokovic twice as he found his serves and shots all right, while Djokovic slipped down his level. Hanging in by a thread, the No.2 seed managed to hold his two service game.
Dominic Thiem failed to capitalize on 3 set points before he saved a break point and closed the third set 6-2 in the fourth chance.
Djokovic levelled the match in the fourth set
The games went with the serve till 3-3 with Djokovic not looking at his 100% and was improvising by moving up when he can. However, with his back against the wall, Djokovic broke a nervous Thiem in the eighth game to get a 5-3 lead. The Serb served out the set at 6-3 with a service hold to love.
Djokovic did not give anything away in the fourth set as he committed only 5 unforced errors and smashed 13 winners.
Novak Djokovic wins the Australian Open 2020 with the fifth set victory
The veteran Djokovic held his nerves in the high-pressure deciding set as he broke Thiem in the third game. Novak also saved two break points in an untidy service game before holding it at 3-1. Thiem also saved a break point to deny a double break to Djokovic and just hanged in there at 3-4. The 32-year-old served out the match after 4 hours of gruelling tennis, winning the deciding set 6-3.
With this victory, Djokovic narrows down his Grand Slam tally against Rafael Nadal (19)and Roger Federer (20).
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