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Djokovic produces final class to land ninth Australian Open

Novak Djokovic is savouring a third Australian Open in a row - and ninth in total.

The world number one overcame the challenge of Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in this morning's final.

Showing no real ill effects of the stomach injury he spoke of last week, Djokovic eased to a 7-5, 6-2 6-2 win in Melbourne.

It brings his tally of Grand Slam titles to 18.

He is now within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have 20 each.

Russia's Medvedev - chasing a first-ever Grand Slam - proved durable in a tight opening set, losing narrowly.

However, the final two sets were close to a formality as Djokovic stamped his authority on the encounter.

Speaking afterward, the winner voiced his love for the tournament and venue where he has enjoyed unprecedented success.

"I'd like to thank this court, I'd like to thank Rod Laver arena," he said at the end of his acceptance speech.

"I love you each year more and more and it's a love affair that keeps growing.

With much of the focus on Djokovic's stomach injury during the tournament, he reserved particular praise for Ulises Badio.

The Argentine physio is a member of his backroom team, and helped him stay match-ready.

"It has been a roller coaster ride for me especially in the last few weeks," he said.

"But Uli, special thanks to you, you've dedicated so much time to making sure I'm able to play and I'm eternally grateful to you."

The champion also had words of consolation for Medvedev, with whom he has enjoyed a close relationship with in the past.

"You're a great guy, a great person, you show again why we used to spend more time together,"

"We used to practice more in Monaco, you're not calling me anymore in the last few years.

"I really like Daniil as a person off the court, he's great, always very friendly and outgoing but on the court he's definitely one of the toughest players I've ever faced in my life.

"It's a matter of time before you hold a Grand Slam."

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