30 Jan 2012

Djokovic lands killer blow after epic Aussie Open slugfest

8:06 am on 30 January 2012

Novak Djokovic ripped his shirt and stalked around bare chested like a triumphant boxer after his marathon five set win over Rafael Nadal to defend his Australian Open title.

And so he should have - he had just won the closest thing a tennis match can come to a heavyweight title fight.

The world No.1 had been flat out on his back 30 minutes earlier, apparently knocked out, but he clawed back to beat world No.2 Rafael Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5 in five hours and 53 minutes to claim his third Melbourne crown in the longest final in grand slam history.

It was Djokovic's third consecutive grand slam title and his fifth overall.