A fatigued Novak Djokovic stared down a ferocious challenge from Rafa Nadal to retain his Australian Open title early on Monday in the longest grand slam final played.
The Serbian world number one, who defeated Spaniard Nadal for the Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns last year, captured the decisive break at 5-5 in the fifth and in a frenzied atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena served out the match to win 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5.
The astonishing contest ran for five hours and 53 minutes. The previous longest final was Mats Wilander's win over Ivan Lendl in the 1988 US Open final that ran for four hours and 54 minutes.
Novak Djokovic said Rafa Nadal had pushed him to the brink of exhaustion as his weary legs held him upright just long enough to see off the Spaniard in the longest grand slam final on record.
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