Major breakthrough for Tsitsipas or record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam for Djokovic?– Stefanos Tsitsipas is bidding to win his first Grand Slam title in his second appearance in a Slam final.
If he wins, he will be the first Greek player to win a Grand Slam.
At 24 years 170 days, Tsitsipas is also bidding to become the youngest man to win the Australian Open title since 2011, when Djokovic (23 years 253 days) defeated Andy Murray
(23 years 260 days).
– Victory for Novak Djokovic will see him equal Rafael Nadal‘s all-time record for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles.
He will become the 5th player to win 22 Grand Slam singles titles, after Margaret Court (24 Grand Slam titles), Serena Williams (23), Steffi Graf and Nadal (both 22).
He is also bidding to win a record-extending 10th Australian Open men’s singles title.
Rampant Djokovic to meet Tsitsipas in Australian Open final
<p>A rampant Novak Djokovic surged into a 10th Australian Open final to close in on a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam crown, with only Stefanos Tsitsipas now standing in his way.<br /><br /></p>
<p>The Serbian fourth seed overcame an early wobble to romp past unseeded American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in style.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Another title on Sunday will move him alongside Rafael Nadal with 22 Slam wins and see the 35-year-old return to world number one for the first time since last June.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Greek third seed Tsitsipas, who ground past Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in the other semi-final, can also become the top-ranked player should he lift the trophy.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Djokovic played the clash without father Srdjan courtside after he was filmed posing with a man holding a Russian flag featuring Vladimir Putin’s face following his son’s quarter-final win on Wednesday.<br /><br /></p>
<p>”I’m really thankful that I have enough gas in my legs to be able to play at this level on one of the biggest tennis courts in the world,” said Djokovic, who is now 11-0 for the season and into a 33rd Grand Slam final.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>The win extended Djokovic’s unbeaten streak at the Australian Open to 27 matches to claim sole ownership of the Open-era record at Melbourne Park ahead of Andre Agassi.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Djokovic had never played Paul before and said he was wary of a “very explosive, very dynamic player”, with the American initially refusing to go quietly.<br /><br /></p>
<p>The Serb, a hot favourite, attacked his opponent’s straight away for an early break, then broke again when the 35th-ranked Paul fired a forehand long to race 5-1 in front.<br /><br /></p>
<p>A run-in with the umpire over using his towel between points seemed to rattle Djokovic and he was broken twice in a row as Paul came surging back to 5-5.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Djokovic regrouped to hold serve and break again and take the set in 59 minutes.<br /><br /></p>
<p>After that wobble, it was all business, despite clutching his strapped hamstring several times, romping through the next two sets with minimal resistance.<br /><br /></p>
<p>He will meet Tsitsipas next after the Greek battled into his first Australian final and only second at a Grand Slam.<br /><br /></p>
<p>In the previous one, at Roland Garros in 2021, Tsitsipas fell to Djokovic in five sets after holding a 2-0 lead.<br /><br /></p>
<p>At 24, Tsitsipas is the youngest man to reach the Melbourne final since a 23-year-old Djokovic in 2011.<br /></p>
<p>”I dreamed as a kid to maybe one day get to play in this court against the best players in the world,” said Tsitsipas, who is also unbeaten this season with a 10-0 record.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Tsitsipas has thrived in Melbourne throughout his career after bursting on the scene at the 2019 event as a 20-year-old when he dethroned defending champion Roger Federer in the last 16.<br /><br /></p>
<p>He went on to reach the semi-finals that year and again in 2021 and 2022. He came into his clash with Khachanov brimming with confidence.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Despite failing to get over the line when serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, then with two match points in the tiebreak, he kept his cool to secure the win and a date with Djokovic.<br /></p>
BATTLE FOR NO. 1 TOO
– For the second consecutive Grand Slam men’s singles final, the winner is guaranteed to become world No. 1
when the new rankings are published on Monday.
Tsitsipas will become the 29th player to be ranked No. 1 since the introduction of the ATP rankings in 1973 if he wins.
Djokovic will begin his 374th week as world No. 1 if he wins, extending his record for most weeks as world No. 1.
– The loser will be ranked No. 3 on Monday.
For Tsitsipas, this will equal his career-high ranking. For Djokovic, this will be his highest ranking since June last year.
Current world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will drop to No. 2 regardless of the outcome.
– Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 10-2
– This is the 13th meeting for Tsitsipas and Djokovic, their 8th meeting on a hard court and their 3rd meeting at a Grand Slam.
Djokovic is bidding to extend a nine-match winning streak against Tsitsipas, with the Greek having not recorded a victory against Djokovic since October 2019, when he won their quarterfinal match at Shanghai-1000.
– This is the pair’s 6th meeting in a Tour-level final and their second meeting in a Grand Slam final.
Djokovic has won all five of their previous meetings in tournament finals, including their only previous meeting in a Slam final, when he recovered from 0-2 down to win in five sets at Roland Garros 2021.