Novak Djokovic won his fifth grand slam title after beating Rafael Nadal five thrilling sets to retain the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The world No 1 produced a stunning performance to extend his winning run over the Spaniard, whom the Serb has now beaten in seven straight tournament finals.
Nadal looked ready to end his recent hoodoo against the Djokovic after taking the first set 7-5, but his opponent grew in stature as the match wore on and won the second set 6-4.
Djokovic took control of the contest in the third set, demolishing Nadal 6-2, and never looked back.
The world No 2 rallied in the fourth but could not hold off the defending champion, who closed out the match 7-5 in the fifth to win his third title in Australia.
Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to win Australian Open 2012
Novak Djokovic won Australian Open 2012 Highlights
Djokovic wins the Australian Open 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5!
Nadal nets a backhand, 15-0. Unreturned serve down the T, 30-0. Djokovic, off balance and on the defensive, goes long, 30-15. Nadal sets it up for Djokovic … Djokovic smashes … and it barely even makes the net! 30-all. A brutal backhand from Nadal down the line, Djokovic nets, 30-40. And here’s a break point to Nadal! Brave, brave hitting from Djokovic and it’s deuce. Djokovic looks to the skies (or more accurately the roof). He does it again after Nadal nets, because he’s got a champoinship point. And he takes it! He pounces on the short ball and the neverending story has finally come to an end. He slumps to the ground, before springing up, whipping his shirt off, pounding his chest and screaming in delight. What a contest. What a (super)man. What a match.
Final set: *Djokovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 6-5 Nadal
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