Novak Djokovic stamped his dominance over Russia's emerging star Daniil Medvedev in last night's Australian Open final. The Serb has now won his 18th Grand Slam title after defeating Medvedev in straight sets in front of a limited crowd in Melbourne Park on Sunday.

The match ended faster than expected, with Djokovic overpowering Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. More was expected out of the Russian, who had been enjoying a 20-match winning streak before hitting the Serbian wall. Medvedev himself told the crowd that he had wanted to extend the match and entertain them longer, but he was simply outclassed by Djokovic.

7,400 fans were allowed inside the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, after fans were banned from watching live for five days in the middle of the tournament due to a snap hard lockdown. Fans were allowed back on Thursday, just in time to enjoy the crucial semi-finals and finals.

Djokovic pulled off a hat-trick of victories in Australia despite complaining of an abdominal injury in the early stages of the competition.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates his ninth Australian Open championship AFP / David Gray

He has now narrowed the gap to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who hold 20 Grand Slam titles each. Nadal participated in Australia this year, but only made it to the quarter-finals. Federer meanwhile, has been staying off the court since the start of the pandemic, and is recovering from a knee surgery.

The battle for the title of GOAT is heating up once more, as Djokovic forces the issue that it is a three-way competition. Meanwhile, he also acknowledged that Medvedev has the potential of taking some Grand Slam trophies of his own in the near future.

It remains to be seen if Wimbledon will take place this year, and if Federer will be available to compete. The Swiss star currently holds the record of eight Wimbledon victories. Meanwhile, Nadal is still the undisputed king of clay with 13 Roland Garros titles.

It has been a tumultuous year for tennis, with quarantine and safety protocols threatening future events. Fans are hoping that a compromise can be reached, and more tournaments can be safely staged around the world.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time AFP / Brandon MALONE