Djokovic's three-peat, a rare feat!
Novak Djokovic created history at the Australian Open this year.
The World No.1 player's come-from-behind four-set win over the No. 3 ranked Andy Murray not only ensured him a sixth Grand Slam title, and fourth at Melbourne Park -- a venue which gave him his first major win in 2008 -- but also made the Serbian the first man to win the Australian Open in three successive years in the Open Era.
The 25-year-old had beaten Murray in the 2011 final as well before edging out Rafael Nadal last year, in what was, at five hours and 53 minutes, the longest ever major final.
In doing so, Djokovic joined a select group of players who have performed a three-peat at the majors since tennis went professional in 1968.
Rediff.com's Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at the elite club of which Djokovic is the new member.
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Image: Novak Djokovic
Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
The legendary Swede is a predictable entrant in the list, having achieved the three-peat in not one, but two, major tournaments.
Bjorn Borg won six French Open titles in the eight years he played at Roland Garros. Four of those wins, from 1978-81, came in successive years.
Besides, the Swede also won the Wimbledon title for five straight years from 1976-80.Even as you admire Borg's remarkable achievements, don't forget that in three years (1978-80) he won both at Roland Garros and the All England, making a successful transition from clay to grass in a fortnight's time.
John McEnroe (USA)
The American is arguably one of the classiest players to have ever graced a tennis court.
For all his talent, John McEnroe ended his career with a haul of seven major singles titles -- three at Wimbledon and four at the US Open.
McEnroe performed the three-peat in New York from 1979 to 1981, denying Bjorn Borg the title on two of those finals.
Ivan Lendl (USA)
The Czech-born American was one of the most diligent players of his era.
A haul of 94 singles titles -- three more than the combined efforts of arch-rivals Boris Becker (49) and Stefan Edberg (42) – bears testimony to a productive career.
Ivan Lendl made it to the final of a Grand Slam on 19 occasions, winning eight of them – three each at the French and US Opens and two Australian Open titles.
His three US Open titles came in successive years (1985-87). In fact he reached the final at New York for eight straight years between 1982 and 1989.
Pete Sampras (USA)
The American's career haul of 14 Grand Slam titles bears testimony to his calibre as a player.
Besides, Pete Sampras is one of the only two players to do the three-peat at the same major twice.
No points for guessing it was at the All England Club.
Sampras won the first three (1993-95) and the last four (1997-2000) of his seven Wimbledon titles in succession.The lone blemish to that incredible run came in 1996, in the quarter-finals, at the hands of his bete noire and the eventual champion Richard Krajicek.
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
The Swiss has followed the legendary Bjorn Borg's footsteps in this regard, having done the three-peat in two major tournaments.
Roger Federer is only second player, after the Swede, to win five straight Wimbledon titles (from 2003-07) in the Open Era.
The prolific Basel native, also, is the only player to have won the US Open five years in succession (2004-08).
Now that's a double whammy!
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
The final entry in the elite list, the Spaniard has followed in Pete Sampras' footsteps, having done the three-peat in the same major tournament twice.
If it is Rafael Nadal, the tournament has to be the French Open.
The left-hander has dominated the clay courts of Roland Garros since his debut in 2005, winning seven titles (2005-08 and 2010-12) in the process.The only glitch came in 2009, when Robin Soderling shocked Nadal and helped Federer win that elusive French Open title, thereby completing the Swiss' major trophies collection.