Take a bow, Novak Djokovic! The Serb produced yet another brilliant comeback in a Grand Slam final as he beat Dominic Thiem in five sets to win the Australian Open for an eighth time.
The defending champion looked down and out midway through the match as Thiem claimed a two-set to one lead, but after four hours it was Djokovic who held the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup aloft on Rod Laver Arena.
His 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win earning him a 17th Grand Slam title, leaving him just three behind Roger Federer’s record of 20 and two adrift of second-placed Rafael Nadal.
The king has returned 👑
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 2, 2020
Yet for long periods of the match it looked like he would falter against first-time Melbourne Park finalist Thiem.
The Djokovic steamroller had the Austrian on the ropes early in the first set as he raced into a 3-0 lead, but his younger opponent got a foothold into the match and broke back.
However, the Serb found his groove again and claimed the decisive break in game 10 to take the set.
But the match turned on its head in the second set as Djokovic started to misfire with the unforced error count stacking up as Thiem upped his game. After wasting two break points, Thiem finally got the break at the third time of asking in the third game, but Djokovic was back on level terms as he broke back in game eight.
Djokovic wasn’t at his best and was starting to get irritated by the crowd while he also got two time violations to really push him close to the edge.
He was visibly upset with the chair umpire after the second time violation and had a full go at the official after Thiem broke again to take the second set.
“You made yourself a mark in this match, great job, man, especially on the second one,” he told umpire Damien Dumusois.
“You made yourself famous, well done.”
The Serb went completely off the boil after that and Thiem took charge, racing into a 4-0 lead with two breaks before serving it out for a two-set to one lead.
— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) February 2, 2020
Djokovic called for the trainer midway through the third set and again at the end of the set and it seemed to help.
After Thiem had a look-in in the third game of the fourth set, the Serb took control with the break coming in game eight to take it to the decider.
And in the blink of an eye the defending champion was 2-1 up with the crucial break coming in the third game. Thiem threw everything at him in the next game and had two break points, but the master refused to budge and held.
Djokovic came out serving for the Championship at 5-4 and quickly found himself 40-15 up, and he only needed the one match point as Thiem went wide with a forehand.
Your draw for the 2020 Mexican Open.
WTA Tour No 20 title for Simona Halep.
Stefanos Tsitsipas on course to successfully defend title.
Dominic Thiem OUT of Rio Open.
Your draw for the 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships.
Kevin Anderson out of action for an extended period.
Roger Federer backed to win another Wimbledon title.
It’s over for Daniil Medvedev in Marseille.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘in the zone’ in Marseille.
It’s Simona Halep v Elena Rybakina in the Dubai final.