Friday, September 15, 2023

Novak sets the seal on his 18th honorific.

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Novak Djokovic clinches his 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne thus, putting him just behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have 20 Grand Slam titles for their name each. 

The Serbian Tennis star  won 12 of the first 15 points of the Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev, holding for 3-0 in the first set with an ace followed by a serve/volley point that ended with a supremely confident Sampras-like jumping overhead winner at the net.

Djokovic’s dominant start was underpinned by a massive difference in the players’ forehand as the Serb raced to a 3-0 lead after eight minutes, he put all 11 forehands cleanly struck into the court. On the other side of the net, Medvedev’s forehand was haemorrhage errors as Djokovic went for the kill on that wing early on.

Djokovic would run away with the final 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, with this initial period of the match setting the tone and flow of baseline exchanges. After three games, Medvedev had hit 18 forehands and 11 backhands. Djokovic locked in on Medvedev’s forehand, extracting seven errors from it in the first three games. During the first four times, Medvedev hit a forehand groundstroke or return in the match, which yielded him three errors. Medvedev did hit one forehand winner during this run, but it was inconsequential.

An ironic match metric is that Medvedev got dominated on the scoreboard, but actually finished the match with more winners, hitting 24 to Djokovic’s 20. But this match was never about winners. It’s the error count that made up most of the points, with Medvedev racking up 67 to Djokovic’s 44. This is where separation between the two players occurred.

The match started with an eight-minute mauling of Medvedev’s forehand which significantly resulted in Novak winning the Australia Open title later.

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