Novak Djokovic got out of jail and won a three-hour marathon on Sunday, defeating Sebastian Korda 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 on Sunday to win his second title at the Adelaide International.
Victory marked his 92nd career title from 131 finals and puts in the driving seat when the Australian Open starts in eight days in Melbourne.
Djokovic saved a match point deep in the second set as he nailed a tough overhead winner to deny his American opponent, son of former No. 2 from two decades ago.
The world No. 5 winner, who was tossed out of the country a year ago for trying to arrive unvaxxed, was boosted by massive crowd support from local fellow Serbs at Memorial Drive.
“Standing her is a gift. I gave everything today and this week to get my hands on this trophy.
“”The support that I’ve been getting in the past 10 days is something that I don’t think I’ve experienced too many times in my life.
“Thank you so much [to] everyone for coming out every single match. It felt like playing at home, that’s for sure. I felt very welcome.”
Djokovic, who will bid for a 10th Australian Open title, has won his last 34 matches in the country dating to early 2019; he also claimed a fifth consecutive career title dating to October.
“You were closer to victory today than I was,” Djokovic told his opponent. “This match was decided by one or two shots.
“Tough luck – but your future is bright.”
Korda returned the compliment: “I want to congratulate Novak, he played unbelievable.
“It was a great match today, hopefully we’ll have many more battles.
“This was a great start to the year, I wish I could have gotten it done but this was a positive week.”