Adelaide | Djokovic notches up title No.92

Novak Djokovic has won the Adelaide International I title when he overcame Sebastian Korda in the final to equal Rafa Nadal’s record of 92 titles won on the ATP Tour.

I probably say that you were closer to victory today than I was. It was decided by one or two shots. Novak Djokovic

The former word No.1 currently ranked at 5, had to save a match point in the second set before posting a 6-7(8) 7-6(3) 6-4 win over the 23-year-old Korda in a battle which lasted three hours and 9-minutes.

During that marathon Djokovic showed no signs of the hamstring injury he picked up and shrugged off the previous day during his clash with Daniil Medvedev.

“I hope you enjoyed the show tonight,” a delighted Djokovic said during the trophy presentation.

“To Seb and his team, it was an amazing tournament and an amazing effort from you today. I probably say that you were closer to victory today than I was. It was decided by one or two shots. It was tough luck today but the future is bright for you so just keep going. You’re an amazing player.”

But as the score line and the time taken implies, it wasn’t a roll over for the Serbian who became agitated when he lost the first set and then found himself facing a championships point in the second which he staved off with an overhead smash.

Djokovic was so frustrated after losing the first set that he ordered two of his entourage – including his brother – to leave his support box!

For that the 21-time grand slam champion later apologised.

“I’d like to thank my team for handling me, for tolerating me in the good and bad times today,” Djokovic said.

“I’m sure they didn’t have (a) blast with me going back and forth with them. My brother Marko was also here, I appreciate you coming here.

“It’s been an amazing week, and you guys made it even more special for me.

“I gave it my all today and all week to get my hands on the trophy.”

The win will be a major confidence booster for Djokovic as he seeks a 10th Australian Open crown later this month as he extends his winning streak in Australia to 34 matches stretching over five years.

Korda, the 22-year-old American son of the Czech Petr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open champion, won over plenty of fans with an astounding effort against one of the game’s greatest ever.

Unfortunately, he choked on crucial points like the three set points he held in the first set before it went into the tiebreak.

There he again allowed three set points to go by before claiming the set on his seventh.

The second set was an equally tight affair, but Korda earned a Championship point on Djokovic’s serve only for Djokovic to annul it nervelessly with a smash before going on to level.

The third set seemed headed for another tie break before Djokovic pounced when Korda tightened up late.

“It was a great match today. Hopefully, there will be many more battles,” said Korda, hiding his disappointment at falling in his fifth tour final and still waiting to win his first title on the tour.

“I want to thank my team. It’s a great start to the year. I wish we could have gotten it done today but there is a long journey to go and I think we are going to have a great year together.“

Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as Sebastian Korda looks on

Sarah Reed/Getty Images)



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