Novak Djokovic warmed up for his Australian Open return by saving a championship level en path to clinching the Adelaide International title with an exhilarating victory over American Sebastian Korda.
The Serbian seemed in peril of slipping to a shock defeat earlier than triumphing 6-7 (8) 7-6 (3) 6-4 in a gruelling three hours and 9 minutes to increase his successful streak in Australia to 34 matches, courting again to 2019.
Djokovic was deported from the nation forward of the 2022 Australian Open as a danger to public well being due to his refusal to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine.
But the 35-year-old, who obtained therapy on his left leg throughout Saturday’s semi-final win towards Daniil Medvedev, will probably be again in Melbourne this month, chasing a tenth title.
He will arrive there brimming with confidence after lifting the 92nd tour-level trophy of his illustrious profession on the finish of an absorbing encounter.
Djokovic saved match level at 5-6 within the second set and, having dug in to maintain himself in competition, surged by means of the tie-break to pressure a decider.
The 21-time grand slam champion tapped his proper index finger to his head as a nod to his resilience after victory was sealed when 22-year-old Korda despatched a closing forehand lengthy.
Djokovic is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the fourth-most males’s singles titles within the Open Era, trailing solely Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94).
He thanked the Australian crowd for his or her help since his return to the nation.
“It’s been an amazing week and you guys made it even more special,” Djokovic mentioned in the course of the trophy ceremony, in response to atptour.com.
“For me to be standing here is a gift, definitely. I gave it all today and throughout the week in order to be able to get my hands on the trophy.
“The support that I’ve been getting in the past 10 days is something that I don’t think I’ve experienced too many times in my life, so thank you so much (to) everyone for coming out every single match.”
Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool clinched the lads’s doubles title alongside Finnish companion Harri Heliovaara due to a 6-3 7-6 (3) win over compatriot Jamie Murray and New Zealander Michael Venus.