That’s all from me for tonight and that’s it for the 2021 Australian Open live blogs.
Thanks so much to everyone who followed along with us and interacted over this two weeks of tennis.
I need to give a huge thanks to our editors, producers, photographers, Channel Nine video producers and our array of sports and news journalists who contributed to our coverage.
Age tennis writer Scott Spits needs a special mention for his tireless work over not only the last two weeks but for the six weeks of lead-ups, quarantines and other dramas that preceded this year’s tournament.
As with our other blogs, this is far from a one-person job as we have a big cast of people supporting us as we bring these events to you.
We will have more stories coming tomorrow and more coverage of all the other major sporting events that are arriving in quick time in 2021.
I will thank you all once more for your kind words and support and bid you farewell.
Bye for now.
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley says the decision to push ahead with the tournament despite public criticism, hard quarantine for dozens of players and Victoria’s snap lockdown has been vindicated.
Tiley said it was impossible to put a value on the prestige Melbourne and Australia would gain from staging an international sporting event with crowds during a pandemic, and the same decision would be made “100 times over”.
The Open, held at Melbourne Park for 33 years, could only go ahead once government health experts gave the green light and with cooperation from the sport’s influential stakeholders including the ATP and WTA.
At the end of Australian Open in which nothing was as it had been before, there was one constant. After an anti-climactic final, it was Novak Djokovic back on the podium at Melbourne Park for the eighth time in 11 years and the ninth altogether.
He re-appears there as routinely as an annual public holiday. Nole Day anyone? The long reign of the long face goes on.
It was February, not January, but it was still Djokovic. It was a new and faster court, but the same old Djokovic.
The Australian Open trophy presentation at the men’s final was at times drowned out by constant crowd booing after mentions of the coronavirus vaccine rollout and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Tennis Australia chairwoman Jayne Hrdlicka was forced to pause at times during her speech when she mentioned the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, which launched on Sunday.
The streak continues.
Novak Djokovic remains undefeated in finals at Melbourne Park, winning an unprecedented ninth Australian Open title on Sunday night after trouncing Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Djokovic’s ninth Australian Open triumph was his third on the trot, the second time in his career he has won three consecutive majors at Melbourne Park.
It was also the 33-year-old’s 18th grand slam victory, putting him only two majors behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who hold the record for most male grand slam wins on 20.
Australian Open Novak Djokovic has admitted he has won this year’s tournament with a muscle tear in his abdomen area.
Djokovic told Channel Nine after his three-set win that he was injured and he would take some time to recover although wouldn’t specify how long.
“I wanted to keep things quiet and clear for me in terms of talking about the injury or any other stuff. Just keeping it to tennis,” Djokovic said.
“ I mean, it’s a muscle tear. It was a muscle tear at that point. I don’t think I’ve experienced that kind of a snap that I have in the third round. I went to MRI. MRI has shown a tear. People questioned that.
“I understand they question my injury. Question whether there is a tear. There is. I mean I can get the doctors and physios to confirm that. For me it was a huge obstacle and challenge.
“I haven’t practiced with the days between the matches. The good thing is I actually had the day between every match because that gave me more time to heal.
“I spent probably out of 14 waking hours, I spent 10 hours on the table and doing everything I possibly can. It worked. I owe great gratitude to my physio putting in a lot of hours and knowledge and know-how.
“I guess we’re all different. I have maybe a great ability to heal. I don’t know. I just managed somehow with pills and pain-killers and stuff. At the end of the day it was a great experience for me.
“I will definitely learn some great lessons.“
Djokovic said he would have a rest.
“It’s not healed up. I’m going to go and do another MRI tomorrow before I travel back,” Djokovic said.
“But I definitely going to take some time off. I don’t know how long it will take. My energy and focus was here in Australia.
“I really – I was saying if there is any tournament where I want to risk to make more damage or try my very hardest to battle, it’s here. It’s Grand Slam. I cannot be happier to be next to this trophy.
“Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Medvedev recalls how Djokovic helped him develop.
Djokovic returns serve but jokes Medvedev may have to wait ‘a few years’ to win a Grand Slam.
Boos rained down on Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka during her post Australian Open speech but debate rages about whether fans were booing COVID-19, a mention of vaccines or Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Government. Or maybe they were booing everyone who wasn’t Novak Djokovic?
“You are a very opinionated group of people” Hrdlicka ended her speech with.
Daniil Medvedev may have struggled on the court but his post-game speech as good as you will ever hear from someone who has been so close, yet so far from their dreams.
He thanked Melbourne and Tennis Australia, reminded everyone that many players were unhappy with different things but he knew they wouldn’t be here without their support.
He also gave us all a story on how Novak Djokovic helped him early in his career when he was 500 or 600th in the world by inviting him to train with him and treating him like a friend even when he was shy.
Djokovic replied in his own playful style joking that Medvedev has stopped calling him since he made the top-five.
He also gave him some rich praise by stating it was only a matter of time until he won a Grand Slam of his own.
But added that he hoped the Russian didn’t mind waiting for another couple of years while he keeps winning!
Age photographer Eddie Jim has filed some cracking pics of Novak Djokovic winning the Australian Open.
Here is one of them: