Novak Djokovic takes aim at Federer and Nadal after Australian Open triumph

Eight isn't enough for Novak Djokovic as the superstar Serb savours one of the most dramatic grand slam triumphs of his illustrious career.

Djokovic overcame illness, an extraordinary mid-match collapse and an inspired Dominic Thiem to claim a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown in a titanic battle laced with controversy and drama on Sunday night.

‘CANNOT BELIEVE IT’: Djokovic facing fine over ugly run-in with umpire

‘MORE IMPORTANT THINGS’: Thiem's incredible runner-up speech

Djokovic overturned a two-sets-to-one deficit for the first time in a grand slam final to deny Thiem a maiden major with a gruelling 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

Djokovic is the first man in the 52-year open era to win grand slam titles in three different decades, and just the second in history after Ken Rosewall snared majors in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

His 17th career slam also leaves the 32-year-old just two behind Rafael Nadal ad three behind all-time majors leader Roger Federer.

Novak Djokovic wants to surpass Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Image: Getty

But even after joining Federer, with eight Wimbledon crowns, and Nadal, with 12 French Open titles, as only the third man to win the same slam at least eight times, Djokovic still yearns for more.

"It's my goal and it's my ambition to try to win as many of the grand slam titles as possible," he said.

"Grand slams are one of the main reasons why I am still competing and still playing full season, trying to obviously get the historic No.1. That's the other big goal.

"That is what professionally matters the most to me."

For now, Djokovic is counting his lucky stars after having to fight tooth and nail to stop Thiem, who threatened to shatter his aura of invincibility at Melbourne Park.

The flashpoint in the final came after the ninth game of the second set.

Incensed at receiving two time violations on successive points, Djokovic fired a forehand way over the baseline to drop serve and fall behind 5-4 before venting his frustrations at the changeover.

Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem after the Australian Open final. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In an ugly exchange that had social media aflutter with calls for the Serb to be disqualified, Djokovic tapped Damien Dumusois on his shoe twice while marching to his chair.

He then sarcastically congratulated the French official.

"You made yourself famous in this match. Great job. Especially in the second one. Great job. You made yourself famous. Well done," Djokovic said before leaving the court for a clothes change after Thiem served out the set.

Djokovic stages insane comeback

Perhaps still rattled, and seemingly suffering physically, Djokovic double-faulted on his first serve upon the resumption and quickly slumped to a 4-0 deficit in the third set as Thiem appeared to seize control.

But the titleholder somehow pulled out the greatest Houdini act of his career to consign Thiem to a gut-wrenching third grand slam final defeat in 20 months.

The vanquished Austrian also lost the past two Roland Garros deciders to Nadal.

"I was on brink of losing that match," said Djokovic, who will also reclaim the world No.1 ranking from Nadal on Monday.

"Congratulations to Dominic for amazing tournament. It wasn't meant to be tonight. Tough luck. It was a tough match. But you were very close to win it.

"You definitely have a lot more time in your career and I'm sure that you will get one of the grand slam trophies - and more. More than one."

In thwarting Thiem's valiant quest to become Austria's first Australian Open champion, Djokovic also extended the big three's sequence of grand slam triumphs to 13 since Stan Wawrinka won the 2016 US Open.

Incredibly, Djokovic, Nadal or Federer have now won 14 of the past 15 Australian Opens.