Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Feb. 21, 2021.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Feb. 21, 2021.

MELBOURNE - Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic dominated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in a straight sets victory, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, to capture his record extending ninth Australian Open title in Melbourne Sunday. 

It was the 18th Grand Slam title for the world number one men’s tennis player, moving him within two of all time leaders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have 20 each. 

Medvedev had come into the final on a 20 match winning streak and was seeking his first Grand Slam title.  But Djokovic overwhelmed Medvedev throughout the match, breaking his opponent seven times on the way to another championship at Rod Laver arena.  

"I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It's been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much," he said after the match. 

Djokovic also paid tribute to his opponent. 

“He's definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life,” he said. “It’s a matter of time before you're going to hold a Grand Slam, that’s for sure.” 

A disappointed Medvedev congratulated Djokovic. “Nine Grand Slams in Australia and 18 in total is an amazing thing and it is probably not your last one,” he said. 

A crowd of 7,400 was on hand to watch Sunday’s final, after fans were barred from earlier round matches due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Djokovic has won six of the last 10 majors and will stay at number one in the rankings at least through March 8. 

In the women’s draw, Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated American Jennifer Brady in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 Saturday to capture her second Australian Open title. 

(Information from Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.)