Novak Djokovic rejects retirement claims and issues Roger Federer challenge

The damning proof to bust tennis’ greatest myth

Djokovic is now only five Grand Slam singles titles behind Federer, and six years on him.

Djokovic's record-breaking seventh Australian Open title put him ahead of his idol Pete Sampras on the all-time Grand Slam winners list, with only Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer ahead of him.

"The positive things that happened these couple of weeks make us very optimistic regarding his future and his level", Moya said of Nadal. Having won only two points off Djokovic's first seven service games, Nadal finally prised a break point in the fifth game of the third to get back on serve but it quickly disappeared in a maelstrom of power hitting.

Nadal was OK with his attacking game, but said he needed a lot more work from his defensive positions. Djokovic won a five-setter in 2012 that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Slam final ever. He met Rafael Nadal in final who dropped his first set only in the last game of this year's edition of Australian Open. That it came against Nadal - who is ranked No. 2, owns 17 major trophies himself and had not dropped a set in the tournament - was hard to comprehend.

"Under the circumstances, playing against Nadal, such an important match, it's fantastic".

Nadal had no answers to what he described as an "unbelievable" performance from Djokovic, who labelled his own display "truly a ideal match". This is also Djokovic's 15th Grand Slam crown.

Now, she's at the top of the world rankings with two Grand Slam titles to her name.

It was the statistics on hard courts that were most relevant for Melbourne Park, though. It contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago, right before he made a decision to have surgery.

When the No 1-ranked Djokovic and No 2 Nadal meet Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament championship, there will be differences, right down to the most obvious: Djokovic is a righty, Nadal a lefty.

Nadal's famed matador spirit couldn't help him in a match where the world No 1 played with a surgeon's precision.

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"I was doubting whether I will be able to play everyone on this level [last year] because I didn't know to what extent the operation of my elbow would affect my game", he said.

"I am just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months", Djokovic said beaming at the trophy ceremony.

Murray had beaten Stan Wawrinka, Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro - who would end Federer's streak at 40 in 2009 - on his way to the final, but the Brit's first major decider ended in defeat.

He was also troubled by an abdominal injury and underwent ankle surgery in November, ending his season early.

Until Sunday's Australian Open final, that makeover had worked to perfection, too, as the Spaniard steamrolled through six successive opponents without dropping a set.

The 31-year-old does have a lot to think about.

He has now lost eight successive matches to Djokovic on hardcourts, his last win coming at the 2013 U.S. Open. He looked in the direction of his box with Carlos Moya shouting words of encouragement.

"That something else probably today, I don't have it yet."

"Nadal has historically, throughout my life and career, been the greatest rival that I ever played against, on all the surfaces".

"That's really the only thing that I hope, is to have the chance to keep practicing well and to have the chance to keep playing with healthy conditions".

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