Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev react after Australian Open final

Djokovic beat Medvedev in straight sets (Picture: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic hailed Daniil Medvedev as one of his toughest ever opponents after a routine straight sets Australian Open win, with the Russian also giving a typically exemplary runners-up speech.

Djokovic, the world No. 1 from Serbia, was too good for the fourth seed, winning 7-5 6-2 6-2 in an hour and 54 minutes.

It was another bruising display from the top seed, who has now won nine Australian Open titles and 18 Grand Slams in total, and he was quick to thank his physio Ulises Badio for finding a quick fix to a third-round injury against Taylor Fritz to help him win the title.

Djokovic: ‘Uli, special thanks to you. You’ve dedicated so much time to making sure I’m able to play. I’m eternally grateful to you.

‘There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australian but I think when we draw a line in the end it was a successful tournament.

‘Look, it wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on lots of different levels but I think they [tournament organisers] should be very proud of themselves for what they have put together and allowed us to come to Australia.

Djokovic was too good (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘Last but not least, I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been a love affair that keeps going.’

Australian Open fans awkwardly booed Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka at the mention of coronavirus vaccinations.

‘The last 12 months have been exceptional circumstances for everybody around the world. It’s been a time of heartfel challenge, deep loss and extraordinary sacrifice. With vaccinations on the way, rolling out in many countries around the world, it’s now a time for optimism and hope for the future,’ she said before boos rang around the arena.

A mention of the Victoria government also prompted more jeers from supporters.

Medvedev’s speech was far more popular with the raucous crowd.

‘Never easy to speak when you just lost the final of a Grand Slam but I’m going to try to do my best. Better than on the court, hopefully,’ he joked.

‘First of all, congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia, 18 in total is amazing and probably it’s not your last one so I have no words to say.

‘Just to tell you a small story, I first practised with Novak when I was 500 or 600 in the world in Monaco. He was already world No. 1 and had just won Wimbledon and I thought okay he’s not going to speak to me or something because the guy is a god for me.

Djokovic and Medvedev traded compliments (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I was shy so I didn’t speak but he was asking me questions, talking to me like a friend. I was really surprised and it never changed since I was 600 in the world or four in the world, you’re a great sport, a great person.’

Djokovic replied: ‘I would like to return the nice words to Daniil. First of all, class act. You’re a great guy, great person, you’ve shown again why.

‘We used to spend more time together, we used to practice more in Monaco, you’re not calling me anymore last few years but it’s nice to hear you’re thinking good things about me. Thank you so much.

‘I really like Daniil as a person off the court, he’s great. Very friendly, very outgoing but on the court he’s definitely one of the toughest players I ever faced in my life.

‘It’s only a matter of time when you’re going to hold a Grand Slam, that’s for sure. If you don’t mind waiting a few more years…

‘I would like everyone to appreciate what he has done. A 20-match winning streak in the last couple of months, amazing.’

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