5 talking points from the 2020 Australian Open
The big story of the 2020 Australian Open was undoubtedly that of Novak Djokovic lifting a record-extending 8th title at the tournament. Djokovic also made a return to the top of the world rankings after having ceded the spot to Rafael Nadal at the end of the 2019 Paris-Bercy Masters.
The defending champion took the opening set against first-time Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem, only to find himself two sets to one down as the inspired Austrian moved to within a set of a maiden Grand Slam title.
It was now uncharted territory for Djokovic, who had faltered in each of the previous seven Grand Slam finals where he had trailed two sets to one - the most recent one being the 2016 US Open final against Stan Wawrinka. But to his credit, the Serb regained his confidence on serve, reined in his unforced errors and exhibited greater composure as Thiem lost serve three games away from the title.
Djokovic rode the lone break of the set to force a fifth, where he broke Thiem once again and saved two break points at 2-1 before sealing his 8th title down under. With the win, Djokovic extended his perfect start to the 2020 season to 13-0 while Thiem joined Tony Roche, Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray as the only players to lose their first three Grand Slam finals.
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Let us have a look at the five big talking points of the first Grand Slam men's singles tournament of the 2020s decade:
#1 Djokovic becomes the first player to win Grand Slam titles in 3 different decades
By beating Dominic Thiem in a five-set final, Djokovic not only defended his title from last year, but also became the first player to triumph in multiple five-set finals across 52 editions of the tournament in the Open Era.
In the process, Djokovic also became the first player in the Open Era to win Grand Slam titles in three different decades. The Serb made his Grand Slam breakthrough at this very tournament 12 years ago, which was his only Major title in the 2000s decade. In the 10 years, Djokovic equaled Federer's record of most Grand Slam titles in a decade (15), before winning the first Grand Slam title of the 2020s decade.