Australian Open 2013: What Novak Djokovic's Third Straight Win Means for Legacy

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning his men's final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day fourteen of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

While Novak Djokovic achieved history at the 2013 Australian Open, he also leaped one step closer to becoming the greatest tennis champion the continent has ever hosted.

The current world No. 1 became the first man in the Open era, which began in 1968, to win the Aussie Open for a third consecutive time by beating Andy Murray in four sets in the men's final this past weekend (via Sky Sports News):

In addition to becoming the first men's player to win three straight, the Serbian star tied Roger Federer and Andre Agassi by winning his fourth career Australian Open championship, the most in the Open era.

But Djokovic has one huge advantage over both Federer and Agassi.

While Agassi and Federer were 32 and 28 years old, respectively, when they each won their fourth career Aussie Open title, Djokovic is only 25 and is just entering his prime. That's why this 2013 Australian Open victory is vital for his legacy.

With one more crown he will have the record for Melbourne Slam titles in the Open era with five, and with two more he will tie Australian great Roy Emerson with the most all time, before or during the Open era.

At that point, there would be no debating Djokovic's legacy in Australia.

Despite breaking through at the year's first Slam just five years ago as an up-and-coming 20-year-old, Djokovic is on his way to becoming the greatest Australian Open champion of all time. Some would even make the argument that he already is the greatest of all-time in Australia having become the first to dominate for three consecutive years Down Under.

Regardless of how you or I view Djokovic's success at the Aussie Open in recent years, neither of us can diminish the magnitude of his sixth career Grand Slam win and what it means for his legacy moving forward.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter