Novak Djokovic's brutal move against Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, pictured here in action on the tennis court.
Novak Djokovic has moved to within two majors of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's record. Image: Getty

With his brutal display in the Australian Open final, Novak Djokovic has moved to within two majors of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic won his ninth Australian Open and 18th grand slam title with a straight-sets thrashing of Daniil Medvedev in Sunday night's final.

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If Federer and Nadal weren't already worried about their mantle as the game's greatest, they will be now.

Djokovic's 18th major moves him to just two behind Federer and Nadal's all-time record of 20.

And don't expect the World No.1 to slow down anytime soon.

After his triumph on Sunday night, Djokovic admitted he's on a mission to hunt down every major record in tennis.

Incredibly, Federer had amassed 12 slams before Djokovic won his first at the 2008 Australian Open - and 16 before the Serb snared his second at Melbourne Park three years later.

Now Djokovic could conceivably eclipse Federer's - and Nadal's - tally this year.

Djokovic will surpass Federer's record 310 weeks as World No.1 next month and it seems inevitable he'll also move past the superstar Swiss on the majors leaderboard as he, Federer and Nadal continue to jostle for all-time greatest status.

"To be honest, really at this stage of my career, it's about majors. It's about the ranking (record as) No.1 is obviously the two biggest goals," Djokovic said.

"Once that historic No.1 is achieved, then my focus will go mostly to the slams. That's where I want to shine."

The 33-year-old is also only the second man ever to claim nine titles at the same slam, joining his great rival Nadal, who owns an eye-watering 13 French Open trophies, after snapping Medvedev's 20-match winning streak in merciless fashion.

Medvedev had been undefeated since last October and beat Djokovic in three of the pair's previous four meetings.

But the Russian was no match for Djokovic on Rod Laver Arena, where the relentless Serb remains unconquered in nine finals and 42 outings as World No.1.

"I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more," the champion said.

"It's been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much."

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, pictured here after the Australian Open final.
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev pose with their trophies after the Australian Open final. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rod Laver hails Novak Djokovic's 'sublime nine'

Aussie great Rod Laver has led the tennis world's tributes to Djokovic, hailing the victory as "Sublime 9!".

The 82-year-old Australian legend loved what he saw of Djokovic's grace under pressure, suggesting that he had stamped his will on Medvedev in the one-sided final at Melbourne Park.

"Brilliant work on another Australian title @DjokerNole, under so much pressure in such difficult times," Laver tweeted.

"You continue to show the world what a great champion you are. There was no doubt in your mind tonight - Daniil felt the full force of your will. Sublime 9!"

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Like Laver, another three-time Australian Open champion, Mats Wilander was left purring over the quality of Djokovic's win, calling it a "perfect" performance.

Talking on Eurosport, the Swede explained how impressed had been with the way Djokovic had battled through his injury concerns earlier in the tournament.

"He was saying, 'I'm not perfect but I'm here' but today and in the semis, he was perfect, with the way he played and physically as well," Wilander said.

"It was an incredible performance. He just got better and better, he wins points so many different ways.

"He's just so complete these days, he can hit those little drop shots, he can come to the net, he's got choices."

Most grand slams in men's tennis

20 - Roger Federer

20 - Rafael Nadal

18 - Novak Djokovic

14 - Pete Sampras

12 - Roy Emerson

with AAP

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