Novak Djokovic's 10 Australian Open Titles

Novak Djokovic's Incredible Journey to 10 Australian Open Titles

Novak Djokovic - one of the most successful tennis players and one of the most influential athletes in history. The Serb has achieved so much that he is not just one of the all-time greats, but perhaps in years to come he will be remembered as the GOAT. Yes, let's keep our respect for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s fans, two other icons who are also great in their own way, but judging by their sporting careers, Novak could hardly be surpassed.

Novak Djokovic 10 Australian Open Titles

Although Djokovic constantly says that he still has the strength to compete with the new generation, stating that "36 is the new 26", the end of his career is near. And when that happens and we look back at which was his most successful tournament, one stands out far ahead of the rest - the Australian Open.

Importance of the Australian Open in his Career

There are several reasons why the Australian Open is of major importance for Djokovic. The first and perhaps the most important of these is that the AO is the first Grand Slam of the year and it more or less determines the success in Novak's season.

Another very important reason is his race with Roger Federer. Up until around 2014, Djokovic and Federer fought hard for that "distinction". By that time, both had won 4 Australian Open titles, but because of his age, Federer's form gradually declined from then on, while the exact opposite happened with Djokovic- he became more and more determined to reach his goal. Still, Federer managed to win 2 more titles (2017 and 2018), while Djokovic reached 6 more, four of which in the last 5 years (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023).

Early Years and Novak's Rise to Prominence

Djokovic turned pro in 2003, but in his first 2 years, he did not convince the critics that he had the talent and potential to be remembered among the best. He failed to even qualify for the main draw of any Grand Slam until January 2005, when he was lost in the first round of the Australian Open. His first big trophy came in 2007, 4 years after his debut when he won the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami at the age of 20.

The Australian Open: A Special Grand Slam for Djokovic

However, before we get to his first triumph, let's go back to his unsuccessful first attempts. In 2005, as an 18-year-old, Novak Djokovic made it through the qualifiers and got into the R1 of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. However, bad luck put him in a very difficult situation, as he had to play the eventual champion Marat Safin, and lost miserably 0:6, 2:6, and 1:6.

In 2006, the draw was far more favorable to Djokovic after he had to face the unseeded American Paul Goldstein. However, it all ended for him in a similar fashion - this time the difference was that he won a set and with a score of 2:6, 6:1, 3:6, and 2:6 was eliminated for the second consecutive year in the First round.

"Two consecutive 1st round losses in a row, what's next?" you might ask. Well, a far better performance and a loss in the Round of 16 by future champion Roger Federer. The Serb previously defeated Chile's Nicolas Massu and Spain's Feliciano Lopez in three sets, as well as Thailand's Danai Udomcheke in four sets, before meeting the Maestro. It is also notable that this was the first edition of the Australian Open for Djokovic, in which he entered seeded - №14.

The First Title: Novak's Breaking Through

Overall, 2007 is remembered as his first really successful season, when he achieved great results at the Grand Slams - semi-final at Roland Garros and Wimbledon and final at the US Open. However, his first major title was at... the 2008 Australian Open.

As you can notice, Novak Djokovic's development has been rapid. Another proof of this is that after being ranked №14 in the Australian Open 2007, a year later he is already №3 in the world. This in turn gives him a much better chance to win his first Grand Slam title.

And that is exactly what happened in 2008. The №3 ranked Djokovic faced three unseeded players in the first 3 rounds, and defeated all of them in 3 sets - Benjamin Becker 6:0, 6:2, 7:6(5), Simone Bolelli 6:1, 6:2, 6:2 and Sam Querrey 6:3, 6:1 and 6:3.

The first serious challenge Djokovic faced was 2-time Grand Slam winner Lleyton Hewitt in the Round of 16. However, Novak defeated him in 3 sets as well - 7:5, 6:3, 6:3. The curious thing is that Djokovic didn't lose a single set until the final – that is what is called a fabulous performance. In the quarter-finals, his opponent was David Ferrer – a 6:0, 6:3, 7:5 win. In the semis, the Serb faced Roger Federer again, but this time Djokovic took revenge on his great rival and this also in a convincing way, by winning 7:5, 6:3, 7:6(5).

In his second Grand Slam final (after the 2007 US Open), Djokovic defeated one of the surprises of the tournament Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets - 4:6, 6:4, 6:3, 7:6(2). With this victory, Djokovic won his first Grand Slam in his career, as well as his first Australian Open, before adding 9 more AO titles to his account.

Novak's Dominance and Rivalries

Let's now take a look at Novak Djokovic's 5 most memorable matches at the Australian Open.

Vs. Tsitsipas – 2023 Final

Yes, this certainly wasn't one of the most amazing wins of his career, but the victory over Tsitsipas was title number 10 at the Australian Open for Djokovic and it is worth mentioning. The Serb had an easy path, not having to face a single top-10 player until the final. By the time he faced Tsitsipas, he had lost just 1 set, and in the final, he again won flawlessly - 6:3, 7:6(4), 7:6(5), becoming the first tennis player with 10 Australian Open titles.

Vs. Federer – 2008 Semi-final

By risking repeating ourselves, we can't forget to mention his great win against Federer in the 2008 semifinal in our list. It's also probably the first time the whole world sees that Djokovic has GOAT material. Additionally, Federer at that time was on a streak of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, making the significance of Novak's win even greater.

Vs. Thiem – 2020 Final

Let's "fly" 12 years ahead - to the final in 2020. Incredible twists, incredible tennis, incredible drama - just like Hollywood... The 2020 Australian Open final will surely be remembered as one of the best matches of the Open era. 

Djokovic won the first set but lost the next two to Thiem. The fact is that the Austrian was then arguably in the best form of his entire career.

Losing 1:2 sets, Djokovic knew he had to be "unplayable" to win it all. And he did it... beating Dominic Thiem 6:4, 4:6, 2:6, 6:3, 6:4 after nearly 4 hours of play.

Vs. Wawrinka – 2013 Round of 16

Another very memorable match was the one against Stan Wawrinka in the 4th round in 2013 - another 5-set thriller. Wawrinka held a 6:1, 5:3 lead at one point before Djokovic clawed his way back to take the second and third sets. But the Swiss prevailed in a fourth-set tie-break.

In the last set, Djokovic had the momentum from winning the tiebreak in the fourth and won after 12:10. The final score was 1:6, 7:5, 6:4, 6:7(5), 12:10 in the №1 seed's favour after 5 hours and 2 minutes of play.

Vs. Nadal – 2012 Final

You expected it, didn't you? The match of all matches, arguably the top 5 in all of tennis history. It's no coincidence it's also the longest Grand Slam final in history - 5 hours and 53 minutes. And it's undoubtedly the best match in the rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Nadal won the first set, while Djokovic took the second. The third set, which Djokovic won, was the shortest set of the match and took just 45 minutes to complete. Nadal fought back to win the fourth set in a tie-break.

Djokovic eventually broke the Spaniard when he was serving at 5:5 in the fifth set and then held his serve to take the match. The final scoreline was 5:7, 6:4, 6:2, 6:7(5), 7:5 in Djokovic's favour.

At the end of the match, both players were so exhausted they could barely stand at the presentation ceremony and had to be provided with chairs.

Novak Djokovic's Legacy and Impact

The Australian Open is definitely the tournament that marked Djokovic's successful career path. Not only was it the first Grand Slam he won, but as we have seen, some of his biggest wins have come at this tournament. One thing is absolutely certain - Djokovic is hungry for more and in January 2024 the Serb will be up there again.