Novak Djokovic says profitable a tenth Australian Open to equal Rafael Nadal’s document 22 Grand Slam males’s titles is “the largest victory” of his life.
He additionally needed to cope with a hamstring damage and a row involving his father.
“Solely the staff and the household is aware of what we’ve been by way of within the final 4 or 5 weeks,” mentioned the Serb.
“I might say that is in all probability the largest victory of my life, contemplating these circumstances.”
Djokovic was overcome with emotion after sealing a straight-win over Greek third seed Tsitsipas on Rod Laver Area.
After climbing into the field to have fun along with his staff and household, he broke into tears and laid down in the midst of them because the magnitude of his achievement hit house.
Djokovic continued sobbing beneath his towel when he returned to his chair on the court docket.
The win sees him return to world primary for a record-extending 374th week from Monday.
How Djokovic overcome distractions to regain crown
Twelve months in the past, Djokovic was not allowed to play after being deported from Australia following the coronavirus saga which ultimately led to his visa being revoked after a court docket case.
After being allowed again to play at Melbourne Park this yr, he needed to overcome extra adversity.
The hamstring concern was significantly problematic within the earlier a part of the match, along with his coach Goran Ivanisevic saying “97% of the opposite gamers” would have withdrawn injured.
“If I flip again the time two and a half weeks in the past, I wasn’t actually liking my probability on this match with the best way I felt with my leg,” mentioned Djokovic.
“Then it was only a matter of survival of each single match, attempting to take it to the subsequent spherical.
“The advantage of the Grand Slam is you will have a day between the matches, so it allowed me to have extra time than regular to get myself in considerably of a superb state to play and ultimately win.”
Djokovic additionally needed to cope with controversy surrounding his father Srdjan – who was photographed with supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin – earlier than Friday’s semi-final in opposition to American Tommy Paul.
Srdjan Djokovic determined to steer clear of the semi-final as a result of he didn’t need to be a “distraction” and in addition watched the ultimate from exterior Rod Laver Area.
“We each agreed it could in all probability be higher that he’s not there. That hurts me and him lots as a result of these are very particular, distinctive moments,” Djokovic mentioned.
“He was a bit unhappy. In a method I am unhappy that he was not there within the stands. However he was all through your entire match, so it is tremendous. In the long run we’ve a contented ending.”
Regardless of these distractions, and a second-set wobble when he turned irritated along with his teaching staff, he performed imperiously in the important thing moments to regain the crown which he was unable to defend final yr.
“I’ve to say this has been probably the most difficult tournaments I’ve ever performed in my life contemplating the circumstances, not enjoying final yr, coming again this yr,” mentioned Djokovic.
“I need to thank all of the individuals who made me really feel welcome, made me really feel comfy to be in Melbourne and to be in Australia. There’s a cause why I’ve performed my finest tennis all through my profession on this area.
“I attempt to pinch myself and actually reside by way of these moments. It is a lengthy journey.”
Ivanisevic, who mentioned Djokovic was “from outer house” when discussing the extent of his play, is trying ahead to the remainder of the season as his participant and Nadal proceed to contest the lads’s main document.
He added: “Battle of Spain in opposition to Serbia, it is like a handball match. 22-22 for the second. Now it is going to be attention-grabbing this yr.”
The subsequent Grand Slam is the French Open, the place Nadal is the defending champion and has received 14 titles total, beginning on 28 Could.
I’m a born champion – Tsitsipas stays upbeat
Tsitsipas, 24, was left to replicate on one other defeat by Djokovic in what was his second main closing and insisted he has what it takes to ultimately grow to be a Grand Slam champion.
The Greek, who was seeded third at Melbourne Park, led by two units when the pair met within the 2021 French Open closing earlier than Djokovic fought again to win.
This time, he was not allowed to achieve the benefit in opposition to a locked-in Djokovic.
Tsitsipas described the loss at Roland Garros as “heartbreaking” however was way more upbeat after Sunday’s defeat.
“It is my time to purpose for one thing like this,” he mentioned.
“I do not see any cause to be reducing my expectations or my targets. I’m born a champion. I can really feel it in my blood.
“I can really feel it as a aggressive child that I used to be once I was younger. It is one thing that’s inside me.
“I need to harvest that, make it bloom, make it even stronger and fonder, work exhausting in the direction of these targets.”