'Brilliant': Fans erupt over 'amazing' Australian Open display

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Novak Djokovoc and Daniil Medvedev haven't held anything back to start their final showdown at the 2021 Australian Open. Pictures: Getty Images
Novak Djokovoc and Daniil Medvedev haven't held anything back to start their final showdown at the 2021 Australian Open. Pictures: Getty Images

The pulsating first set between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open men's singles final left tennis fans and experts alike gobsmacked by the high level of play on show.

A back and forth first set went Djokovic's way, 7-5, thanks to the Serbian's third break of Medvedev's serve in the set.

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The reigning Australian Open champion raced out to a 3-0 lead early, before Medvedev struck back thanks to some brilliant defensive shots.

The highlight of the set was a stunning, spinning lob from Medvedev which had Djokovic back-pedalling to catch the flight of the ball, before the exceptional spin on the bounce caused him to re-adjust and fire his return into the net.

Djokovic earned three set points on Medvedev's serve, cashing in on the third of those to win a closely-contested opening frame.

Fans and experts alike were riveted by the back-and-forth display the pair put on.

Djokovic and Medvedev exchanged service breaks to begin the second set.

Legend's harsh truth for Novak Djokovic

Legendary tennis player and outspoken commentator John McEnroe took a shot at Novak Djokovic before Sunday night's Australian Open final.

Djokovic is chasing a record-extending ninth title at Melbourne Park and an 18th overall major - a feat that would put him just two shy of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's all-time record haul.

Serbia's World No.1 has been a polarising figure at the year's first grand slam with tennis fans questioning the extent of his injury concerns.

Djokovic insisted after his match against American Taylor Fritz that he was suffering from an abdominal tear and may not be able to play another match.

Not only did he play the next match, Djokovic disposed of Canadian Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals, before dismantling surprise packet Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals.

Djokovic said after the Karatsev match that it was the best he'd felt all tournament, which merely heightened scepticism about his injury from within the tennis world.

Speaking on video hook-up before Sunday's final, McEnroe tried to explain the perception that many observers have that the Serbian's injury issues come when he's up against it in a match.

“He’s always trying to get the same level of respect of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who are two of the greatest class acts and players of all-time. So that’s been difficult for him,” McEnroe said on Nine.

“I had a similar thing back in my day trying to get the respect of Borg and Connors. And he’s done for the most part an absolutely tremendous job.

“But sometimes when he feels disrespected he tries to get, this is my theory, those injuries come. He probably isn’t 100 per cent but he plays it for all it’s worth and I don’t blame him for a second, he plays within the rules.

“All of a sudden he beats Taylor Fritz in five sets, will he even finish the tournament? Will he play against Raonic? Yes he will play against him and somehow he comes back with a miraculous recovery in the semi-finals, and watch out in the finals."

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