MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic wore down Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam singles final ever, winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 after 5 hours, 53 minutes to claim his third Australian Open title.
澳大利亚墨尔本：澳网男单决赛上演了史上最耗时的冠军争夺战，在这场持续5小时53分钟的鏖战中，塞尔维亚天王德约科维奇笑到了最后，以5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5的优秀表现力克对手纳达尔，连续三年捧起了澳网男单冠军的奖杯。
Djokovic wrapped it up at 1:37 a.m. local time Monday, becoming the fifth man since the Open Era began in 1968 to win three consecutive
Grand Slam finals.
Minutes earlier, an exhausted Djokovic collapsed with his arms and legs spread wide after losing a 31-shot rally - the longest of the match. He seemed barely able to pick himself and his racket up, but he somehow lifted himself for one last effort, beating Nadal for the seventh time in a final since March.
The 24-year-old Djokovic tore off his shirt in celebration. He went to his support camp and repeatedly thumped
the side of the arena in front of them in delight and relief.
As the players waited for the trophy presentation, Nadal leaned on the net, while Djokovic sat on his haunches. Eventually, a nearby official brought them chairs and water.
"We made history tonight and unfortunately there couldn't be two winners," said Djokovic, the winner of five Grand Slam titles and four of the last five majors.
Nadal became the first man in the Open Era to lose three straight major finals. He was beaten in four sets by Djokovic at last year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
"I think we played a great tennis match. I enjoyed being part of this event and this match," Nadal said. "I am not happy to lose the final, yes, but that's one of the losses that I am more happy (about) in my career."
Having reduced Roger Federer to tears when he won the title over five sets in 2009, Nadal managed to maintain his composure
during the on-court speeches - and even managed a joke.
"Good morning, everybody," Nadal said, earning laughs and loud applause from the crowd. "Congratulations to Novak and his team. They deserve it. They are doing something fantastic, so congratulations."
The previous longest major singles final was Mats Wilander's win over Ivan Lendl at the U.S. Open in 1988, which lasted 4 hours, 54 minutes.