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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic claims 10th Melbourne crown

Novak Djokovic claimed a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown on Sunday as he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the Melbourne showpiece.

The Serbian ace overcame his opponent 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) to lift the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup, while he has also now drawn level with Rafael Nadal as the most successful player in men's Grand Slam singles history with 22 titles.

For Tsitsipas, his wait for a first Grand Slam title goes on, with the Greek star having also been beaten by Djokovic on his only other appearance in a major final at the French Open in 2021.

Djokovic continues Melbourne dominance

Despite only being seeded fourth heading into this year's tournament, there was no doubting that Djokovic was the man to beat heading into the opening Grand Slam of 2023.

However, there were concerns regarding his fitness, as a hamstring issue hampered him during the early rounds, including as he dropped his only set of the tournament against French qualifier Enzo Couacaud in round two.

That would have concerned supporters of the Serb, but he appeared to get stronger as the tournament went on, beating Grigor Dimitrov, Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul in straight sets en route to the final where he was also able to dispose of Tsitsipas in three.

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Djokovic started the match strongly, taking the first set in 36 minutes, but he was forced to dig deep during the following two sets, with his big-match experience perhaps shining through as he took both on tie breaks to seal the championship.

The victory has extended Djokovic's winning run in the men's singles at the Australian Open to 28 matches, with his last defeat in Melbourne coming against Chung Hyeon in the 2018 fourth round.

Djokovic will also return to world number one following this success and he has won the Australian Open in four of the last five years, the only exception being when he missed the Melbourne slam in 2022.

Djokovic and Nadal all-square

His latest victory in Melbourne has also seen Djokovic draw level with Nadal as the most successful player in men's Grand Slam singles history, with both players having won 22 titles, two more than Roger Federer who is next on the list.

That sets things up nicely for the rest of the season, as the two greats of the game will likely go head-to-head to try and move to the top of that list outright, although Nadal will have to improve on his showing at the Australian Open, as he was eliminated in straight sets by Mackenzie McDonald in the second round, with a hip problem disrupting the Spaniard throughout that contest.

Nadal will hope to be fully fit by the time the second Grand Slam of the year comes around at the end of May, as the King of Clay has been the dominant force at the French Open for almost two decades, landing his 14th title in 2022.

The 36-year-old is 5/2 to seal title number 15 in Paris this year, which would edge him back ahead of Djokovic on the all-time list, while the Serbian, who is a two-time French Open champion, is 6/4 in the To Win Outright market.

Tsitsipas edging closer to first Grand Slam success

It was another case of so near yet so far for Tsitsipas in Melbourne, as like his first Grand Slam final appearance at the French Open in 2021, he was beaten by Djokovic.

Despite that loss, it was still a good tournament overall for the world number three, who has also reached four Grand Slam semi-finals on top of his two final appearances.

Tsitsipas beat the likes of Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov en route to the final in Melbourne and he will take great confidence from that into the rest of the year, as he looks to break his major duck.

The 24-year-old will fancy his chances at the French Open, with four of his nine titles on the ATP Tour coming on clay, and he is 13/2 in the To Win Outright to land his first Grand Slam success in Paris.

American resurgence clear to see

It has been almost 20 years since an American last won a men's Grand Slam singles title when Andy Roddick claimed glory at the 2003 US Open.

Roddick is also the last American to reach a Grand Slam singles final in the men's game, losing to Federer at Wimbledon in 2009, but if their performances at this year's Australian Open are anything to go by, there could be a resurgence in the men's game stateside.

That is because there were three Americans that made it through to the last eight in Melbourne, with Sebastian Korda, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul all reaching that stage of a slam for the first time - Paul of course made it through to the semi-finals.

That list does not even include world number nine Taylor Fritz, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year but was knocked out in the second round in Melbourne.

All four of those American talents have one thing in common, they are all 25 or under, which suggests the future of American men's tennis could be bright, with the quartet all likely to challenge for Grand Slam titles in the years to come - perhaps even in 2023.

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