Tennis

Djokovic hails his best Grand Slam final

World No. 1 thrashes Nadal to win a record seventh Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic said he played his "best final in a Grand Slam" to win a record seventh Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 rout of Rafael Nadal yesterday.

"It's one of the best, if not the best, matches I've played in a Grand Slam final," the Serbian world No. 1 said after winning his 15th Major title in just 2hr 4min.

The demolition of second seed Nadal put Djokovic, 31, out on his own ahead of Roger Federer and Roy Emerson, who both won six Australian Open men's singles titles.

The top seed dropped to his knees and kissed the ground after vanquishing his great rival.

"It's quite unreal we are still playing at this level and still competing for the biggest titles in sport and it's just an amazing evening," he said, pausing frequently to hold back his emotions.

"Under the circumstances, maybe this is the best-quality tennis I have played against Rafa in a final."

FROM INJURY TO VICTORY

"I'm just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months. I had the surgery exactly 12 months ago," he added, referring to an elbow operation that saw him slump out of the world's top 20 before bouncing back to win Wimbledon and the US Open.

"To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams, this is amazing. I am speechless."

Djokovic heads to the next Major, at Roland Garros, aiming to hold all four Grand Slam titles concurrently for a second time in his career - he first achieved it when winning the French Open in 2016.

Nadal ,who made an uncharacteristic nervous start which allowed Djokovic to take a lead he would never relinquish, said: "Even if tonight was not my best day of course I had someone that played a lot better than me tonight. - AFP

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