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Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the Adelaide International

Novak Djokovic saved a match point as he beat Sebastian Korda to win the Adelaide International and extend his winning run in Australia to 34 matches.

The Serb dropped his first set of the tournament but fought back to win 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

The world number five has won 92 career ATP singles titles, level with Rafael Nadal. Only Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl have won more.

“It’s been an amazing week, for me to be here is a gift,” said Djokovic.

“The support that I’ve been getting in the past 10 days is something that I don’t think I’ve experienced too many times in my life, so thank you so much to everyone for coming out every single match.”

The Adelaide International is Djokovic’s first tournament in Australia since he was deported in 2022 because of his Covid-19 vaccine status, but his visa ban has now been overturned.

Djokovic will look to extend his record number of wins at the Australian Open which starts on 16 January. He is targeting his 10th title, which would also equal Nadal’s men’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles.

Aryna Sabalenka won her 11th career singles title, beating 18-year-old qualifier Linda Noskova 6-3 7-6 (6-4) in the women’s final.

It was world number five Sabalenka’s first win since May 2021, sealing the victory without dropping a set throughout the tournament.

“I’m a different player right now,” Sabalenka said after the match.

“Maybe a little bit smarter, a little bit calmer on court. Just a little bit of everything changed.”

Elsewhere, world number seven Coca Gauff won the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

Gauff, 18, beat Spanish qualifier Rebeka Masarova 6-1 6-1 and did not drop a set across five matches.

It was Gauff’s first title since 2021 and her first on hard court since 2019.

“Honestly, a great week for me despite the rain,” Gauff said. “I couldn’t ask for a better start to my season – my first title on hard [courts] since I was 15.”

Source: BBC

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