Tennis: Factbox on Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic

Reuters , Sunday 21 Feb 2021

Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev to win record-Extending Ninth Australian Open Tennis Title

Novak Djokovic
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 21, 2021. AFP

Factbox on Serbia's Novak Djokovic, who beat Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-2 6-2 in the Australian Open final on Sunday to win his 18th Grand Slam title.

Born: May 22, 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia
Grand Slam titles: 18 (Australian Open 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021; French Open 2016; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019; U.S. Open 2011, 2015, 2018)

Early life

* Began playing tennis aged four.

* His father was a professional skier and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps or play professional soccer but changed his mind when Djokovic excelled at tennis from an early age.

Career to date

* First full year on tour in 2005. Made Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the Australian Open, losing to Russian Marat Safin in the first round. Finished as the youngest player (18 years, five months) inside the top 100.

* In 2006, he won his first ATP tour title at Amersfoort.

* Won five titles in 2007 (Adelaide, Miami, Estoril, Montreal and Vienna) and reached his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open, losing to Roger Federer.

* Beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open -- becoming the first Serbian man to win a singles major.

* Failed to defend his title in Melbourne the following year after pulling out of his quarter-final against American Andy Roddick citing heat exhaustion.

* Led Serbia to their first Davis Cup title with victory over France in Belgrade in December 2010.

* Began 2011 by winning seven successive tournaments - Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Belgrade, Madrid and Rome. Did not lose until June 3 when Federer ended his 41-match winning streak in the French Open semi-finals.

* Secured the number one spot on July 4, 2011 by beating Tsonga in the Wimbledon semi-finals, then beat Rafa Nadal to clinch his first Wimbledon crown, his first title on grass.

* Saved two match points to beat Federer in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open then defeated Nadal in the final to become the seventh man to win three Grand Slam titles in a year since tennis turned professional in 1968.

* Won his third Australian Open title in 2012 by beating Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes.

* Began 2013 by beating Andy Murray to become the first man in the professional era to win three successive Australian Open titles.

* Beat Federer in a five-set Wimbledon final in 2014.

* Reached all four Grand Slam finals in 2015. Began the year by capturing a fifth Australian Open title, then missed out on the French Open again -- his third loss in the title match --after falling to Stan Wawrinka in the final.

* Won third Wimbledon title by defeating Federer in the final. Beat Federer in U.S. Open final, giving him three Grand Slam titles in a year for a second time.

* Beat Murray in the 2016 Australian Open final to win his 11th Grand Slam trophy.

* Beat Murray again in the French Open final that year to finally win the claycourt major at his 12th attempt. The win not only completed his Grand Slam collection but he also became only the third man -- after Don Budge and Rod Laver -- to hold all four majors at the same time.

* Retired in the 2017 Wimbledon quarter-finals against Tomas Berdych and ended his season in July with a right elbow injury.

* Returned from a six-month injury absence at the 2018 Australian Open. Had elbow surgery following a last-16 exit to South Korean youngster Chung Hyeon.

* Beat Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon final to seal his 13th Grand Slam.

* Capped off the year in style by beating Juan Martin del Potro to win the U.S. Open crown for a third time.

* Defeated Nadal in their 53rd career meeting to claim his 15th major and seventh Australian Open title in 2019.

* Djokovic's 26-match winning streak in Grand Slams ended with a loss to Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-final.

* Defeated Federer to claim his fifth Wimbledon title.

* Failed to defend his title at the U.S. Open after retiring due to injury in the fourth round match against Stan Wawrinka.

* Djokovic helped Serbia win the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020 before triumphing at Melbourne Park for an eighth time.

* With 2019 champion Nadal and Federer opting to miss the 2020 U.S. Open, Djokovic had been favourite to win in Flushing Meadows but the Serb was defaulted in the fourth round after he accidentally hit a line judge in the throat with a ball. The disqualification ended Djokovic's 26-0 winning run in 2020.

* Lost to Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the final of the rescheduled 2020 French Open.

* Beat Medvedev for a record-extending ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam crown.

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