Australian Open 2014: Djokovic eyes another historic feat
At the beginning of his career, a long rally in a Djokovic match was the key for his opponent to win a game, and eventually the match, with more of such rallies. But the Serb has shown tremendous improvement in terms of mental and physical fitness to overcome all his flaws. And six years after winning his maiden Australian Open title, Nole is seeking his fourth consecutive title at the Rod Laver Arena.
As the World No. 2 Novak Djokovic eyes his historic feat, here is a list of all his previous four championship winning victories at the Rod Laver Arena.
2013: Defeated Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2
Compared to the last year`s final against Rafael Nadal, Djokovic`s final encounter with Britain`s Andy Murray in 2013, wasn`t exciting enough, as the Serb defeated Murray for second time in three years to lift the trophy.
In the initial phases, it looked as if the match would prove to be another epic marathon, as both Djokovic and Murray held their serves in the first two sets which lasted for two hours and 13 minutes. The experts said the turning point of the match was when at 2-2, in the second set tiebreaker, Murray paused and went onto pick a small white feather which was lying on the court and then served long. The momentum changed from there onwards, as Djokovic stormed past in the next two sets in a convincing manner.
Djokovic had played a tough match in the fourth round against Stanislas Wawrinka who gave him a neck-to-neck fight before bowing out in five hours.
2012: Defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
The Djokovic-Nadal rivalry went to newer heights as both these players came up with an incredible display of strength and stamina, in an epic match that lasted for five hours and 53 minutes.
It was a very exhausting match for Nole as he battled past Andy Murray in the semis – another marathon match that lasted for four hours and 40 minutes. In the fifth and the final set, Djokovic was seen struggling as he would often collapse on the court.
But the mighty Serb proved his mettle once again as he defeated Nadal in a thrilling encounter. Both the players were on their haunches during the presentation ceremony, before they were offered chairs to rest their fatigued bodies. It was not only the longest Australian Open final, but also the longest Grand Slam final ever.
2011: Defeated Andy Murray 6-4 6-2 6-3
Djokovic deprived Andy Murray of his maiden Grand Slam title, as the Serbian defeated Murray in straight sets to win his second Australian Open title. While Murray was eyeing history, Nole was the favourite to win the tournament after he defeated Swiss legend Roger Federer in the semis. Djokovic`s powerful forehand made the difference, as he got on top of Murray with some powerful forehands in the first set, where he also broke Murray`s serve to take a mental edge in the game as well.
Murray was eyeing his piece of history by becoming the first British man to claim a major title since Fred Perry won the US Open in 1936, and Scotland`s first ever Grand Slam singles champion.
2008: Defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (2)
In order to win his first Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.
The match lasted for 3 hours and six minutes and it was a tough one for Djokovic as he lost the first set 4-6, and Tsonga had a massive support from the crowd. But Djoker bounced back and created history by winning the next three sets. Novak had defeated Roger Federer in the semis whereas Tsonga edged past Nadal to seal his berth for the final.
“I`m very, very happy that I won my first Grand Slam here, so hopefully we`ll see you here on this stage a lot more often," Djokovic said. The 20-year-old Serb also became the first man other than No. 2 Rafael Nadal to win a Grand Slam title from Federer since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open. A 20-year-old Djokovic also created history as he became the first Serb to win a Grand Slam title.
Djokovic is now eyeing another record, as he is seeking to become only the second man after Australia`s Roy Emerson to have sealed four consecutive Australian crowns.