Novak Djokovic extended his reign of dominance at the Australian Open with a straight-sets victory over Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's men's singles final.
The top-seeded Serb turned away the Russian challenger 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to win his ninth Australian Open crown and third title in a row in Melbourne.
Djokovic fended off an early challenge from the fourth seed before he took over against Medvedev, who was participating in his second Grand Slam final.
The 33-year-old has won half of his 18 Grand Slam titles at the first major of the season in Australia.
The victory moved Djokovic two major championships behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most men's singles Grand Slam titles.
The performance that earned Djokovic his 18th major crown was a masterclass, as he adjusted on the fly to counter whatever Medvedev threw at him.
ESPN's Brad Gilbert pointed out that Medvedev was not prepared for some of the tactics the Serb employed:
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times made a similar point, noting that Medvedev looked lost on the court despite coming into the match on a 20-match winning streak.
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Novak Djokovic has a commanding lead, 7-5, 6-2, after just one hour and 17 minutes. He's sharp and dialed in. Medvedev came into this match with well-earned confidence from his 20-match win streak, but maybe not much in the way of tactics. He looks lost out there. #AusOpen
The ESPN broadcast team of Chris Fowler and John McEnroe summed up the match perfectly when they discussed the competitiveness during the third set (h/t Rothenberg):
To put it simply, as Jose Morgado of Diario Record tweeted, Djokovic was just too good Sunday in Melbourne:
Djokovic's dominance led some, like USA Today's Dan Wolken, to think the 2021 championship match was anticlimactic:
The 33-year-old controlled the second serve points and break points over three sets. He broke Medvedev on seven of his 11 opportunities and took 58 percent of his second-serve points compared to his opponent's 32 percent.
Djokovic had fewer winners and aces than Medvedev, but he had 13 fewer unforced errors and won nine more receiving points.
The Serb should have at least two opportunities to join Federer and Nadal in the 20-major club in 2021. He has five Wimbledon titles and three U.S. Open triumphs.
However, Djokovic may have to wait until after the next Grand Slam tournament to win another championship since Nadal typically dominates the French Open.