An imperious Novak Djokovic won a record magnificent seventh Australian Open title by routing Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, yesterday with a display of flawless tennis.
The Serbian world number one dominated the Spanish second seed to win his 15th Grand Slam title in just 2hr 4min on Rod Laver Arena.
It put Djokovic, 31, out on his own ahead of Roger Federer and Roy Emerson, who both won six Australian Open men's singles titles.
Djokovic dropped to the court and kissed the ground after vanquishing his greatest rival.
No two men have met more often in the Open Era, this was their 53rd meeting, and no pair have pushed one another harder or further.
Their only previous final in Australia, in 2012, developed into a record-breaking 5hr 53min slugfest – the longest in Grand Slam history.
A repeat of that epic never materialized with Nadal uncharacteristically nervous at the start and Djokovic taking immediate advantage.
The statistics were as telling as the scoreline: Djokovic had served eight aces to Nadal's one and made just four unforced errors while the Spaniard had coughed up 20.
The end was swift, as Djokovic withstood one break point at 3-2 before administering the last rites in a flurry of winners off both wings.
In women’s final, Japan's Naomi Osaka said she was "in a state of shock" Saturday after holding her nerve to battle past Petra Kvitova and win the Australian Open in a three-set thriller that also gives her the world number one ranking.
The fourth seed and US Open champion triumphed 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-4 in a 2hr 27min epic over the Czech eighth seed to claim back-to-back Grand Slams and become the first Asian, male or female, to hold the top spot.
Melbourne Park erupted in thunderous cheers as the Japanese youngster fell to one knee, head bowed, before collecting the trophy from China's Li Na -- who lifted the same silverware in 2014, three years after becoming the first Asian to win a major at Roland Garros.
It was a cathartic moment for 21-year-old Osaka, whose breakthrough Grand Slam win at Flushing Meadows was marred by boos in the wake of losing finalist Serena Williams' tirade at the umpire.*AFP
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