Step by step, working on the things that I need a little bit more. And his competitive makeover for grass-court tennis - ramping up his serve, altering his footwork and flattening his looping, topspin-heavy groundstrokes - worked to perfection, helping him claim the sport's most prestigious title in 2008 and again in 2010.
Having lived through the physical and emotional roller coaster that comes with playing in one of the four majors right to the final night, a sleep-deprived Novak Djokovic had only a couple of simple short-term goals in mind as the magnitude of what his 2019 could look like started to take shape.
"I'll go to the beach, I'll go to the botanical gardens", he said. And there was far less anguish in his rallies.
Ultimately, it was Osaka who took home the title and the world number one ranking with a dramatic 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4 win.
Djokovic had a 27-25 edge in head-to-head meetings going into this final, although Nadal had the superior record in majors at 9-5.
Djokovic rarely placed a ball anywhere but the precise spot he intended, committing just nine errors in the contest.
Novak Djokovic has been crowned Australian Open champion after beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets.
In eclipsing the six Open titles of Roger Federer and Australian Roy Emerson, Djokovic also surpassed American legend Pete Sampras to elevate himself to outright third on the all-time grand slam title leaderboard with a 15th career major.
For his part, Nadal was satisfied with his overall form in his first tournament since the U.S. Open last September.
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Moreover, Harris has also been outspoken on the nomination of former Attorney General William Barr. Among those expected to join the race are senators Cory Booker , Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar .
"Right now, I don't really want to do anything, I want to sleep and just spend time with people I love", Osaka said at a news conference in a suburb of Melbourne on January 27, one day after her hard-fought victory over Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open women's finals. But the Australian Open suggested that the pecking order atop women's tennis is dynamically in flux, with young players such as Amanda Anisimova, 17, Aryna Sabalenka, 21, flashing impressive power and grit while familiar faces Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep fell short of expectations.
As he did with Federer, Murray met a man at the top of his game in Melbourne.
We can't have one of the Big Three, Djokovic, Nadal or Roger Federer, win a Grand Slam without revisiting the GOAT discussion.
2011 Australian Open - beat Andy Murray, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. They are wiser about managing the wear-and-tear on their bodies.
Novak Djokovic etched his name into the record books by winning his seventh Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
It is their 15th at a major, equaling the record.
In his on-court remarks during Sunday's trophy presentation, Djokovic paid tribute to that quality in Nadal, who he regards as his greatest rival and the player most responsible for pushing him to be even better. "Thank you for that".
For just the fourth time in 31 grand slam finals involving the "Big Four", the loser failed to win at least 10 games. "I know these kind of things happens - even to the best players of the history".
"I will definitely do a lot of reflection and contemplating, being grateful for this moment, but at the same time I would like to keep going".