Novak Djokovic has told Eurosport that sealing his 10th Australian Open title with his straight-sets victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday was “one of the top two or three most important victories I have had ever”.
The 35-year-old stormed to a stunning victory with a dominant display as he came through, 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5), to seal a men’s record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam singles title and draw level with his long-time rival, Rafael Nadal.
For Tsitsipas, it was another crushing disappointment at the business end of a Grand Slam as he still seeks his maiden triumph at a major, but he still provided the Serb with a very tough battle in plenty of long, testing exchanges.
Djokovic may not have had to come through one of his longer Grand Slam finals to secure glory on this occasion, but he admitted that it was actually an incredibly challenging and important title for him in the context of his illustrious career.
“Everything on the spectrum from the best to the worst I’ve experienced in the last few weeks,” Djokovic told Eurosport’s Barbara Schett after his latest triumph at Melbourne Park.
“This is one of the top two or three most important victories I have had ever, considering the circumstances, after what happened last year and stuff happening off the court.
“It required a lot, mentally, to keep it together, so I feel a big release now. It is like a balloon with no air. It is over, and I am going to enjoy it.
“I work as hard as anyone else. I’ve managed to find a formula for success where I work to keep improving. That is the only way to progress. If you stagnate, you risk going backwards.
“The mentality and willpower are always there. It all came to fruition in the last couple of weeks. There is always a place for this wonderful trophy.”
‘Dream big because you can make it’ – Djokovic gives inspiring speech after 10th Aus Open title
“There is a reason why I’ve played my best tennis in Australia. I try to pinch myself and live through these moments. This is probably the biggest victory of my life, considering the circumstances.
“I would like to finish by commenting on Greece and Serbia. We are two small countries with no real tennis tradition. We didn’t have players to look up to, who reached these heights.