Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic called ‘a monster’ by Nick Kyrgios after Australian Open triumph

Novak Djokovic has claimed his 10th Australian Open title, after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas, and tennis players from the past and present have been reacting to the record breaking victory.

The beaten finalist, Tsitsipas, was first to congratulate the man who has beaten him in both of his Grand Slam finals.

“Novak, I don’t know what to say,” Tsitsipas began in his speech on the court. “It speaks for itself, what you have achieved so far. It is all in the numbers.”

He continued, “Novak is the greatest to have ever held a tennis racket. I would like to thank you for pushing our sport so far. It deserves someone like you, pushing everyone involved to the max.”

There is often talk about the rivalry between ‘the big three’, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but there also seems to be a great deal of respect between the trio.

Both Nadal and Federer posted to Instagram to congratulate the Serb, who has moved level with the Spaniard on 22 Grand Slams and is now two ahead of the retired Federer.

Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

By winning the first major of the year Djokovic returns to the top of the rankings, taking over from Carlos Alcaraz who missed the tournament through injury.

Despite the Spaniard slipping to No.2 he was keen to offer his support for Djokovic on social media, exclaiming that the Serb’s title and ranking were ‘well deserved’.

Alcaraz will return to action next month when he takes to South America in Buenos Aires, Rio and Acapulco.

Nick Kyrgios was another of the casualties before the Australian Open, suffering a small tear and a cyst in his lateral meniscus, despite playing a charity practice match with Djokovic in the week before the tournament.

Kyrgios posted to Twitter after the final, “We created a monster. Well done @DjokerNole …. Sat on my couch and enjoyed the entire show.” A few minutes later he followed it up with a prediction for Djokovic’s Grand Slam total, “He will get to 28 Slams easy.”

The Aussie knows all too well what it is like to play the now 22-time Grand Slam champion in a final, having lost to him at Wimbledon last year.

Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, who is the only person to win a Grand Slam singles title as a wildcard said he was shocked that his player managed to win the title after battling with a hamstring injury.

“This is definitely the best win for Novak. Not just because of what happened last year, but also because of the last three weeks. I thought I’d seen everything when he won here in 2021, but this one was unbelievable. To play like that everyday, better and better, it’s so impressive,” said the Croatian.

“97% of the players would have pulled out upon the MRI scan. He’s from another planet, the way he works. He gave everything. I didn’t expect this; I was shocked. Against Dimitrov, I was scared, but he came through it all.”

Tributes continued to pour in for the Serb on social media, and beyond, with the likes of the women’s Australian Open champion, Aryna Sabalenka, and retired Grand Slam champion’s Juan Martin Del Potro and Tracy Austin all congratulating Djokovic on his achievement.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.