2/2 © Reuters. Australian Open 2/2
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic’s “incredible” performance to win his ninth Australian Open final was a statement for youngsters seeking to break the dominance of the “Big Three” in Grand Slam titles, according to the seven-time Major League Baseball winner Mats Wilander. . Arguments over which of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal or Djokovic are the greatest male champions of all time can arise long after their rackets hang, but at Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena the Serb is one of a kind. Djokovic on Sunday put aside a month of controversy and a sore muscle tear in his abdomen to crush young Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets and extend his own record of titles won on the famous blue carpet. “Brilliant job on another Australian title,” Rod Laver, the Australian after whom the stadium court is named, said in a message to Djokovic on Twitter. “Under so much pressure in such difficult times. You continue to show the world what a great champion you are. There was no doubt in your mind tonight – Daniil felt the full force of your will. Sublime 9!” Medvedev was the brightest of the younger talents looking to break into the Grand Slam winners circle in Melbourne this year and reached the final after a 20-match winning streak that included victories over the best players in the game. However, Djokovic made the 25-year-old Russian look ordinary in the final, as the Serbian showed off his incredible mental strength and a bewildering variety of shots. “It was an incredible performance,” Swede Wilander told Eurosport. “That’s a great statement for (the next generation), for us, for the whole world. Novak is so complete these days, he can make those little pitches, he can hit the web, he has options.” Former US Open champion Andy Roddick wasn’t always a huge fan of Djokovic, the man once about to fight him in the locker room but was in awe of his performance at Melbourne Park. “Djoker is so good,” the American posted on Twitter. “He’s had great, great players at the Open over the years. There’s nowhere to attack him on the court. It‘s like not being able to hit a boxer, but that boxer also has knockout power in both hands. Props.” .