Australian Open Men’s final:
Novak Djokovic will need to take his seventh Australian Open trophy to his special tree in Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens to truly know how he feels after making history at his most successful Grand Slam.
The world No. 1 turned in a command performance as he thrashed longtime rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in Sunday’s two-hour final.
Djokovic now holds the record for the most titles ever at the event.
“This is right up there,” the winner told fans in victory. “This is one of the best – if not the best – that I’ve played in a Grand Slam final.
“Playing Rafael is a challenge on an entirely different level.”
But the Serb who often shows his spiritual side is preparing to commune with nature in order to have the reality of his accomplishment sink in.
“I’ll tell you how I feel after I take the trophy to ‘my’ tree,” said the player who has often used the tranquil local setting located just across the Yarra river from the Melbourne Park sporting precinct venue as a spot of refuge.
Djokovic was thrilled with his victory performance as he ran his record against Nadal to 28-25 in a series which has thrived for a decade and a half.
“Rafa is my biggest rival, we’ve played 53 times over the lat 15 years. It’s quite unreal playing at this level and both of us still competing for the biggest titles in the sport.
“I still have to remind myself of everything that has heppened. When the spotlight goes off I’ll be looking forward to the moment.
Djokovic played this fortnight with his family at home in Monte Carlo> he said that video-chatting with them before the match was a calming tonic.
“They bring me great serenity and that’s exactly what I need before a match. It brings me positive energy.
“When I get home in a few days we can share the emotions.”
The world No. 1 said that his early and complete domination of Nadal was a game plan worked to perfection.
“It’s what I intended to do, I knew that I needed to bring intensity from the start, since I knew intensity was waiting for me on the other side of the net.
“Rafa brings 100 per cent to every match, he makes you play from the first point. I needed a good start, dictating play was the goal.”
The winner called his performance “probably the best quality tennis I[ve played against Rafa in a Grand Slam final.”
Djokovic now stands on 15 career titles at the majors, trailing the 20 of Roger Federer and Nadal’s 17; the win pushed the Serb past his childhood tennis idol Pete Sampras.
“I want to keep getting better, the new generation is coming up and we constantly have to improve if we want to keep up.
“Breaking records and making history is a big motivation.”