Novak Djokovic takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in Australian Open final with records at stake


It all boils down to this. With history and a place at the top of the world rankings on the line, Novak Djokovic takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open men’s final on Sunday.

The winner will be named the new world number 1; it will be a first for Tsitsipas but it will be a return to the top for Djokovic who spent a record 373 weeks atop the men’s charts.

But not only is a place at the top of the leaderboard at stake, but both players have individual milestones in their headlights.

For Djokovic, a victory on Sunday would be a record 10th Australian Open title, his 22nd Grand Slam overall – equaling the men’s overall record currently held by Rafael Nadal.

Sunday’s victory would also top many talking points over the past two weeks – from his hamstring injury to his father pictured at a protest with fans holding Russian flags, expressing support for Russia .

After his semi-final win over American Tommy Paul, Djokovic opened up about how he handled the scrutiny, saying he just had to “accept it”.

“In my case, I feel like things are piling up, somehow adding up for one reason or another,” he told reporters. “It’s not an ideal situation or circumstances when you have to deal with all these other outside factors that aren’t really necessary at such a big event.

“But it’s part of my life. Unfortunately in recent years more. I’m just trying to evolve from that. I try to become more resilient, stronger. I think with the experience I have with my routines, I feel strong enough to know what I have to do, when I have to do certain things. I can disconnect.

He continued, “But somehow today the information gets to you. When it does, it’s there, then you have to find a way to accept, let go, but not allow it to consume your day or turn your mindset into something you don’t. don’t want to, especially before semi-finals or finals of a grand slam.

“These are the times when you’re just like, okay, now it’s about locking yourself in, it’s about creating your own space with your own people, being comfortable and trying just focus on what matters.”

On the other side of the net, Tsitsipas will play in his second Grand Slam final – Djokovic will feature in his 33rd.

His composure, precision and powerful strikes impressed on his way to the final and he is now within reach of winning his first major title.

The 24-year-old is out for revenge on Djokovic after the duo met in the 2021 French Open final in which Djokovic came from two sets down to defeat the Greek player.

And with so much at stake in the final, Tsitsipas looked back on when he looked up to those in the position he is in now.

“I remember watching (players winning Grand Slams) on TV thinking, ‘I want to be there myself one day. I want to recreate that feeling for myself,'” he said. told reporters after her semi-final win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Tsitsipas celebrates a point against Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic during their quarter-final match at the Australian Open.

“I knew it was a very long journey to get there. There are certain steps you need to follow to give yourself a chance to compete for something like this.

“But I believed in it a lot. I believed in it a lot. First of all, it’s your ego that talks. You have it or not, you know? As a child, I was very confident. Thank God, I was well in my country.

“From there I knew that if I could get out of my country and compete in other countries, European leagues, European tours, I proved to myself time and time again that I’m really good. I finished as a junior No. 1. Now I want to do it in men, in men’s professional tennis.


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