In an epic final, Novak Djokovic prevailed against Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5, his third consecutive Grand Slam victory.
It was an exciting game that seemed to last forever, five hours and 53 minutes to be exact, as the two played until close to 2am local time in what would become the longest ever Australian Open match and the longest Grand Slam final in history.
The end result was more like a marathon and as ridiculous as the game was, Djokovic managed the win after defeating Andy Murray in a four and a half hour semi-final less than 48 hours earlier.
Nadal won the first set playing particularly well across the baseline and was able to break Djokovic’s serve with some great court coverage to make it 2-2. Djokovic re-broke at 4-4 but Nadal took the advantage on Djokovic’s serve at 6-5 and didn’t look back.
Nadal dwindled over the next two sets, which was actually about the time the two began that typical tennis caveman routine with the back and forth grunting, heaving and moaning. He composed himself and took a hard fought fourth set but Djokovic was too good late in the fifth, and came back from a 2-4 deficit to win.
His fourth Grand Slam victory from the last five, Djokovic fell to the floor after taking the winning point but still found the energy to produce a number of excessive Hail Mary’s and a show for the ladies, ripping his shirt from his body and flexed and fist pumped until the sun came up.
Djokovic was a little more gracious in the post-game presser and summed up the final perfectly, saying, "Rafa, you're one of the best players ever, one of the most respected players on tour. We made history tonight; unfortunately there couldn't be two winners tonight. I wish you all the best for this season and I hope that we will have many more finals like this."
The game was everything one could hope for in a Grand Slam final featuring long rallies, amazing levels of skill and athleticism, mental toughness and suspense. The world’s two best players produced a classic for the ages.