Novak Djokovic used superb serving and his usual relentless returning and baseline supremacy to grab 11 of 13 games in one stretch and beat a visibly frustrated Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday for a third trophy in a row.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 21, 2021.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 21, 2021. (AFP)

World number one Novak Djokovic has beaten Russia's Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win his ninth Australian Open title and extend his record-breaking reign at Melbourne Park.

On Sunday, Djokovic demolished the fourth seed 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in front of 7,400 fans on Rod Laver Arena to end the Russian's unbeaten run at 20 matches.

In winning his third straight Australian Open, the Serb claimed his 18th Grand Slam title to move within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have 20 each, while denying Medvedev his first.

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The Serbian world number one has had to battle injury and extract new levels of determination just to get to the final.

An abdominal injury in the third round put him on the brink of an early exit and left him unable to train between matches.

But after his semi-final win over another Russian, Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic reported he felt fitter than at any time during the Melbourne fortnight

Djokovic holds phenomenal record

He faced an entirely different challenge against "chess player" Medvedev, the form man of tennis who is on a 20-match winning streak.

Medvedev, the world number four, was unbeaten since last November, including a straight-set drubbing of the Serb at the ATP Finals in London.

The Serb holds the phenomenal record of never losing a final on Melbourne's famous blue courts in eight attempts spanning 13 years.

Djokovic played his 28th Grand Slam final. It was be the Russian's second.

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'He's the favourite'

Before the game, Medvedev had said that despite having all the momentum he would go into the final as the underdog.

"He's the favourite because he didn't lose. On eight occasions that he was here in the semis he won the tournament," said the 25-year-old, hours before the game.

"Me, I'm... the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it.

"I know that to beat him you need to just show your best tennis, be at your best physically maybe four or five hours, and be at your best mentally maybe for five hours," he added.

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Medvedev, who also reached the 2019 US Open final, losing to Nadal, had the weapons to trouble Djokovic, with a big serve, unrelenting returns, and exceptional movement as he targeted a maiden Grand Slam title. However, they weren't enough.

Twelve of his 20 straight wins have been against top-10 players and he has won three of his last four against the 17-time Grand Slam-winning Serb.

Source: AFP