Novak Djokovic survived a match point scare to beat Sebastian Korda and win the Adelaide International ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
The Serbian former world No1 beat the American 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in South Australia to extend his winning run to 34 matches in Australia and secure his first title in the country since he was deported last year over his Covid-19 vaccination status.
“It’s been an amazing week, for me to be here is a gift,” Djokovic said.
“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, so thank you so much to everyone for coming out every single match.”
Djokovic is favourite to win the Australian Open – which would be his 10th Grand Slam on the southern hemisphere hard courts – and beat second favourite Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.
Djokovic on a run
The Serbian lost the opening set to Korda in the final in a tiebreak but won the subsequent two sets to win the match in three sets.
If Djokovic were to go on a run in Melbourne and win the opening Grand Slam of the calendar year, he’d equal Rafael Nadal’s total of 22 major titles.
The win in Adelaide is the world No5’s 92nd singles title on the ATP Tour which puts him level with Nadal – only Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors top that number.
The deportation of the Serbian 35-year-old is set to feature in Netflix’s new fly-on-the-wall series Break Point, which airs this Friday.
The Australian Open begins on Sunday with the men’s and women’s singles and continues for a fortnight – it is the opening Grand Slam on the calendar and the only one in the schedule that’s played on a hard court.
The other three calendar Grand Slam events are at Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open.