'My dearest people': Djokovic pays emotional tribute to family

Novak Djokovic has paid an emotional tribute to his family back home after winning a record seventh Australian Open crown on Sunday night.

The world No.1 thrashed Rafael Nadal in just two hours on Rod Laver Arena, with his wife Jelena and their two children watching along on television.

After he continued his marvellous run following his return from injury that only serves to highlight how mystifying his two-year drought from 2016 to 2018 was, Djokovic spoke from the heart.

“I would like to say hello to my family, starting with my wife and my son Stefan and daughter Tara,” he said.

“I hope they’ve been watching – well at least they said before the match that they would watch.”

Djokovic choked up at that moment before continuing with his touching words.

“Trophies are even more special when I have someone so dear and so special to me in my life to share this with,” he began.

“They are my dearest people on this planet next to my two brothers and my parents. I love them very much. I want to thank them for unconditional love and support through all these years.

As Jelena, Stefan and Tara watch along at home, Novak Djokovic lifts his seventh Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. Pic: Getty

“They’ve sacrificed a lot of their time and energy for me to live my dream to be standing here today and I try to always remind myself and not take that for granted.”

Djokovic is now two grand slams short of Nadal and five away from Roger Federer, with years left to catch up.

“I’m just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months,” Djokovic said.

“I had the surgery exactly 12 months ago. To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four slams, this is a truly amazing.

“I’m speechless.”

Nadal was never in the match after Djokovic took an early 3-0 lead in the first set.

But in a positive response to the heartbreaking defeat, his worst in a grand slam final, he lauded his rival.

“First thing that I have to say is many congratulations to Novak and all his team,” the Spaniard said.

“It was an amazing level of tennis tonight and throughout the two weeks. Well done for everything.”