GAME, SET AND MATCH! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 6-2 MEDVEDEV.

It’s a very familiar story Down Under! Novak Djokovic breaks again with an overhead and is the 2021 Australian Open champion. He wins the title for a record-extending ninth time and claims an 18th Grand Slam crown. He’s two behind the all-time men’s major record of 20 (shared by Nadal and Federer). It was trademark Djokovic throughout what proved to be a one-sided showpiece encounter with an in-form Russian, who was featuring in his second Grand Slam final.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 5-2 MEDVEDEV

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Let’s not forget Medvedev is on a 20-match winning streak. He throws everything at Djokovic including the kitchen sink! A bullet forehand winner sees him engage the crowd looking for some love at 15-30. Nole responds with a beast of a serve and more ridiculous defence and depth. He outlasts the Russian once more and points to his head to demonstrate the strength of mind he has right now. He’s one game from the title.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 4-2 MEDVEDEV

The Russian keeps his very slim hopes alive with a hold to 15 after coming through a really testing point at 15-15. It’s still just the one service break, but he’s leaked too many errors to really look like troubling an in-the-zone Djoker.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 4-1 MEDVEDEV

Solid as a rock. The eight-time champion eases to another highly effective hold, dropping just the one point. That familiar trophy is looming ever larger on his horizon.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 3-1 MEDVEDEV

Djokovic can afford to smile and applaud with such a commanding lead. He is outfoxed in a drop-shot dance-off at the net. It’s all smiles and a rare moment of cheer for Daniil. It helps him through a decent service game that sees him belatedly get on the board.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 2-0 MEDVEDEV.

It’s erratic now. Medvedev has lost the plot. He needs to find focus to avoid a humbling finale now. A poor volley into the net after a mixed bag of serves sums up the last set and bit for the fourth seed.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 1-0 MEDVEDEV

That was a big, big chance for Medvedev. You have to seize those against Djokovic, but he fails quite miserably in truth. The Serb wobbles from 0-30 and when he double faults to cough up two break points. Medvedev does little to attack the second serve and from there the world number one finds clutch tennis. It’s a hold from deuce and there’s seemingly only one winner from here.

SET! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 6-2 MEDVEDEV.

That’s too easy. Medvedev mutters away at himself. He’s clearly rattled and Djokovic doesn’t have to bring his A-game to break once again and claim the second set. That 18th Grand Slam title and a record-extending ninth in Australia looks very much on the cards now.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 5-2 MEDVEDEV

Daniil looks a tad dejected and takes his frustration out on a racket. He battles his way back from 40-15 down to make deuce but any hope is quickly snatched away as Djokovic halts a very brief lull with a timely big serve down the middle T. The Serbinator has his radar locked on a two-set lead and is just one game away from his target.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 4-2 MEDVEDEV

Daniil finds some big serves and also seems to benefit from loose hitting from Djokovic to notch up a much-needed love hold.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 4-1 MEDVEDEV

A third ace of the match clinches a hold to 15 and sees Nole claim a fourth game on the spin. He’s in complete charge of this contest. What can a tiring Medvedev do here? He’s known for his ability to switch strategy, but it’s going to take something special from here.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 3-1 MEDVEDEV

It’s just too good. Not even a bizarre outburst from the crowd can halt Novak’s swaggering charge. Medvedev takes the time to have a breather at 15-30 and lashes down an ace, but Djokovic refuses to be denied and a tired attempt down the line lands well out for the Russian as he coughs up another break. His huge serve just isn’t doing the damage he’d be expecting it to.

DJOKOVIC 7-5 2-1 MEDVEDEV

You can’t afford those, Daniil. The number four seed lashes a routine forehand into the net at 15-30 and Djokovic gratefully sets about accepting the gift. The Serb stays locked in to reel off the next two points and wrestles the scoreboard advantage his way. Intriguing stuff in the opening exchanges of Set 2.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 1-1 MEDVEDEV

This is not far off vintage Djoker, particularly on the return game. Medvedev is hammering down some sizzling serves, but the world number one is getting them back with incredible depth. The Russian throws everything at him, but the Serb bites back and denies him any momentum.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 0-1 MEDVEDEV

That is a stunning response and just what the match needs if it’s to live up to the billing. Medvedev comes out all guns blazing and manages to force a couple of backhand errors out of the Serb despite more trademark elasticity from the world number one. It’s an immediate break but plenty of work to do to back that up now.

SET! - DJOKOVIC 7-5 MEDVEDEV

The world number one ups the ante and conjures up three set points with some incredible returning. Medvedev staves off two but then rasps a tight forehand into the net after the eight-time champion got another brutal serve back into play. It’s been a magnificent 42-minute spectacle, but same old story so far for Nole when it comes to Australian Open finals.

DJOKOVIC 6-5 MEDVEDEV

Whatever you can do… Nole gets away with a telegraphed drop shot by winning the face-off at the net. From there he’s in no danger as he saunters through a perfect hold. He’s guaranteed the minimum of a tie break but will hope to have chances on the final return game now.

DJOKOVIC 5-5 MEDVEDEV

Pressure? Nah. Medvedev shrugs off any nerves associated with the current scoreboard to surge through a love hold and make parity once more. No one is blinking now. This set is so finely poised.

DJOKOVIC 5-4 MEDVEDEV

The 17-time Grand Slam champion is using a short-ball tactic to lure Medvedev in. It not only provides an awkward shot from a low position but also means the Russian can’t look to engage him in an almost constant battle of exhausting patience from the baseline. It works a treat to seal this game as Medvedev charges in but then dumps a backhand approach firmly into the net.

DJOKOVIC 4-4 MEDVEDEV

Still with serve since Medvedev made it 3-3 from 3-0 down. Djokovic digs in and snares a lung-busting rally but it proves to be his only win in this game. Medvedev finds the big serve and a pair of aces ease him level.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 3-2 MEDVEDEV

Wow. Despite looking imperious, Djokovic has been pegged back! The Serbinator misses a very make-able mid-court forehand at 15-15 and it seems to release something from within Medvedev. The Russian outlasts the world number one in a pulsating rally where Djokovic runs out of ideas with a drop shot into the net. Nole’s weakness with the overhead is then exposed again as Medvedev forces him to have two attempts via great defence, with a shaky first followed by a terrible shot into the net.

DJOKOVIC 3-1 MEDVEDEV

Respite. Medvedev leans on some big serving but then comes under real pressure from 40-15 up. Djokovic almost presses him to deuce but lashes an inch long of the baseline to allow his opponent to get on the board.

DJOKOVIC 3-0 MEDVEDEV

It’s been an eight-minute masterclass. Djokovic looks incredibly focused as he marauds through a love hold to consolidate in style.

BREAK! - DJOKOVIC 2-0 MEDVEDEV

That’s a disastrous start for Daniil. He misses two crosscourt forehands by a whisker, but they prove costly as it leaves him with plenty to do. A tepid forehand following a rasping Djoker return see him cough up a pair of break points. He saves ones with a crisp forehand down the line but can’t wriggle free on the second as Djokovic’s pressure and ability to find depth from awkward defensive situations lures the mistake. A perfect start for the eight-time champion.

DJOKOVIC 1-0 MEDVEDEV

The world number one makes an early statement to the challenger who has dared to threaten him on a court akin to his own back yard. An ace and precision drives off both flanks lead him through a strong hold to 15. Not a bad way to kick things off.

Showtime

Djokovic won the toss and will serve first. The warm up is all-but done, so let battle commence!

View(s) from the baseline

Medvedev: “I don't have a lot of pressure because Novak has never lost here in the final. He has all the pressure to get to Roger Federer and Rafa (for the all-time record of 20 men's titles). I hope I will get out there and show my best tennis. As we have seen, I can win against the best names if I play well. He has more experience but more things to lose than me."
Djokovic: "I'm ready for the battle for the toughest match of the tournament, without a doubt. Medvedev is playing at an extremely high quality. He's the man to beat. I heard Jim Courier calling him a master chess player because of the way he tactically positions himself on the court, and it's true. You know, he's definitely a very smart tennis player."

Head to head

Djokovic leads the match-up 4-3 but Medvedev has won three of the last four. Medvedev won their last meeting at the ATP finals by a 6-3 6-3 scoreline back in November. However, Djokovic won their only previous meeting at a Grand Slam in four sets in Australia in 2019. They also faced off Down Under in the semi finals at the ATP Cup in 2020, with Nole again coming out on top 6-1 5-7 6-4.

Good morning

It's very nearly time for the men's final of the 2021 Australian Open and it should be a belter.
You can watch the final live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app from 8am UK time so don't miss it!

Semi-final recap - How they got here

Let's start with the defending champion. He had little to no issues as he breezed past qualifier Aslan Karatsev in straight sets.

Highlights: Djokovic cruises past Karatsev into ninth Melbourne final

Let's rewind a bit to his third round match against Taylor Fritz, one of the matches of the tournament and the obvious tournament in Djokovic's campaign.

Highlights: Djokovic overcomes injury to beat Fritz and reach fourth round

As for Medvedev we expected an absolute classic against Stefanos Tsitsipas but the Greek failed to show up and the Russian eased through to the final.

Highlights: Medvedev too good for Tsitsipas in semi-final

ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21

From 8.30am UK time
  • Men’s singles final - Novak Djokovic (SER) [1] v Daniil Medvedev (RUS) [4]
  • Men’s doubles final - Rajeev Ram (USA) [5] & Joe Salisbury (GBR) [5] v Ivan Dodig (CRO) [9) & Filip Polasek (SVK) [9]
- - -
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