Early on Monday morning, defending champion Novak Djokovic battled it out with the second seeded Rafael Nadal in an epic, five-set Australian Open final. At 5hr 53min, the match was the longest final in grand slam history.
Djokovic fought back after losing the first set to Nadal afterwhich he also took the third and was up 2 sets to 1. However, Nadal showed his strong and relentless form and evened the scoreboard, taking the fourth set. The two battled it out for the very exciting fifth and final set with Djokovic taking it 7-5. The entire match was filled with tension and excitement and showcased the very best of championship tennis.
“Good morning everybody,” Nadal told the crowd afterwards. “I will never forget this match. Even though I lost, it was something really special for me. Thank you very much, I will come back here a lot and I will keep fighting.”
Djokovic, who walks away with prize money to the value of Aus$2.3 million (US$2.4 million), has now beaten the Spaniard in three consecutive grand slam finals and seven consecutive title matches overall.
Djokovic acknowledge Nadal as “one of the best players ever” and went on to comment that ”We made history tonight, and unfortunately there couldn’t be two winners. But I wish you all the best for this season and I hope that we will have many more matches like this and many more finals.”
The match was longer than the 1988 US Open final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl, which lasted 4hr 54min, and also beat the Australian Open record of 5hr 14min set by Nadal and Fernando Verdasco in 2009.
Watch Djokovic’s winning championship point and reaction in the video below: