RAFAEL Nadal once again failed to overcome Novak Djokovic, losing an epic Australian Open Final lasting nearly six hours.
The Spaniard succumbed 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 in what was the longest final in Grand Slam history at five hours 53 minutes.
The match is already being talked about as one of the greatest of all time, and is the latest chapter in an increasingly intense rivalry between the world’s top two players.
Nadal, a 10-time grand slam winner, has now lost out to the Serbian in each of their last seven meetings, with Djokovic having won the last three major titles.
The Mallorcan looked on course for victory after going a break up in the final set but the world number one fought back to claim the fifth grand slam of his career.
Speaking after the match Nadal, whose participation in the tournament had been in doubt due to a knee injury, said: “Congratulations to Novak and his team, they deserve it, they are doing something fantastic.
“I’ve had a fantastic two weeks. Thanks to my team for their support – without them it would be impossible for me to be here.”