Novak Djokovic fights back from the brink to win EPIC Adelaide final after falling out with his team
Novak Djokovic ordered his brother out of the coaching box in an extraordinary on-field crisis before winning the Adelaide International final.
The Serbian star had lost his first set to world number 33 Sebastian Korda when he became visibly frustrated and pointed to the penalty area on Sunday.
His brother Marko and another person then left the area before Djokovic fought his way back onto the court to win the epic three-set thriller.
Novak Djokovic defeated Sebastian Korda in an epic final in Adelaide on Sunday
After a 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory in a match that lasted three hours and eight minutes, the 21-time Grand Slam champion admitted it was not an easy night been.
“I want to thank my team for the way they treated me, tolerated me in good times and bad,” he said during the on-field interview after the game.
“They probably didn’t like my going back and forth with them today, but I appreciate them being here.
“My brother Marko is also here, I don’t see him that often, so I appreciate you coming here, I love you. It was a great week and you made it even more special for me.’
The Serb had a bizarre argument with members of his entourage, asking two of them to leave his coaching box at the end of the first set
Djokovic was visibly frustrated at times during the match against Korda on Sunday
Djokovic twisted his left hamstring during Saturday’s semi-final over Daniil Medvedev, but was able to weather the setback during the decider against Korda.
The win was a big confidence boost for Djokovic as he looks to win a 10th Australian Open title later this month. The win also extended his winning streak in Australia to 34 matches over a five-year period.
Korda, the 22-year-old American son of Petr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open Czech champion, won over many fans with an astonishing effort against one of the greatest players ever.
The first set was an engaging affair with plenty of momentum swings and set points for both players.
Korda sealed the crucial break to lead 5-4, but blew three set points at 40-0 to allow Djokovic to break and level the game.
Djokovic was unable to convert his own set point at 6-5 as Korda unleashed a powerful serve.
The tiebreak was even more intense, with Korda once again choking in crucial moments.
Korda blew a 6-3 lead, with the third of those set points a close-range horror shot into the net as he had nearly the entire field at his mercy.
Korda won the opening set and saved a championship point in the second set
Djokovic also had a moment to forget when the 21-time Grand Slam winner framed a shot into the crowd during his own set point.
Korda finally got it right on his seventh set point, as Djokovic furiously headed for his rest room.
Djokovic sat down before yelling at his supporters’ box and ordering two of his entourage to leave the area.
The second set was a close affair, but Korda earned a Championship point off Djokovic’s serve.
The Serb fought back from the edge to triumph 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in over three hours
Djokovic saved the match point with a nerveless overhead smash, and he came up with the goods to tie the game. The third set appeared to be heading for a tiebreak before Djokovic struck as Korda tightened up late.
And the Serb, who hasn’t lost on Australian soil since being upset by South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Open, praised his younger rival.
“I’d probably say you were closer to the win today than I was – it was decided in one or two shots, one or two points,” he told Korda.
“Bad luck today, but the future looks bright for you, so just keep going, you’re a great player.”
Djokovic praised Korda after the match, admitting that his rival had been the better player
Djokovic also thanked the Australian public for their support since returning to the country following his controversial deportation last year following his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“It was a great week and you guys made it even more special,” Djokovic said at the awards ceremony, according to atptour.com.
“It’s a gift to me to be here, absolutely. I gave everything today and all week to get my hands on the trophy.
‘The support I’ve received over the past 10 days is something I don’t think I’ve experienced too often in my life, so thank you very much [to] everyone to come out every game.”