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Posted: 1/29/2012
Djokovic Wins Australian Open in Longest Final
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MELBOURNE, Australia January 29, 2012 (AP)

 

 

Novak Djokovic ripped off his shirt and let out a primal scream, flexing his torso the way a prize fighter would after a desperate, last-round knockout.

This was the final act in Djokovic's 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory over Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final — a sweat-drenched, sneaker-squeaking 5 hour, 53-minute endurance contest that ended at 1:37 a.m. Monday morning in Melbourne.

Djokovic overcame a break in the fifth set to win his fifth Grand Slam tournament and third in a row. None, though, quite like this. This one involved tears, sweat and, yes, even a little blood. It was the longest Grand Slam singles final in the history of pro tennis and it came against Nadal, the player who built a career on his tenacity — on outlasting opponents in matches like these.

"It was obvious on the court for everybody who has watched the match that both of us, physically, we took the last drop of energy that we had from our bodies," Djokovic said. "We made history tonight and unfortunately there couldn't be two winners."

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