Novak Djokovic made easy work of Daniil Medvedev to win the Australian Open for the ninth time, third on the bounce and 18th grand slam overall.
The world number one had never been beaten in a final at his most successful tournament, but that record seemed to be under considerable threat given the form of his opponent, who went into his second grand slam final on a run of 20 successive victories.
But Djokovic gave another reminder of what makes him one of the greatest exponents the sport has ever seen with a relentless display of baseline hitting to win 7-5 6-2 6-2.
The victory brought him a third successive title in Melbourne, moving him to within two grand slams of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the men’s all-time standings.
The first set was a tight affair as the Russian fought back from 3-0 to down to level up. But the fourth seed, who went into the match on a 20-match winning streak, dropped serve again in the 12th game as Djokovic took the opener 7-5.
Medvedev – looking to win his first major trophy – made a perfect start to the second set with a break of the world no1’s serve but the top seed hit back with a run of four games in a row to take a stranglehold on the match.
The precision and consistency of his shots were forcing Medvedev to go for too much and the Russian broke his racket in frustration when Djokovic held for 5-2. Another break in the next game gave Djokovic the set 6-2 and a comfortable lead.
Medvedev looked beaten as the third set began, knowing the task at hand as he looked to win a match from two sets down for the first time in his career.
Djokovic again raced into a 3-0 lead as Medvedev’s shoulders dropped, eventually seeing out victory 7-5 6-2 6-2 by breaking his opponent one final time.