The "Ripper Bonza" Djokovic Speech That Australia Fell In Love With
What a man. What a win. And what a speech.
You wouldn't have thought Novak Djokovic could put in a better performance than his commanding 6-3 6-2 6-3 triumph over Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.
But he might've put on an even better show on the podium with his victory speech.
The 31-year-old Serb world number one was already a crowd favourite in Melbourne, having now won a record seven Australian Open titles. But he found a way to make the locals love him even more.
First he cracked everyone up when mentioning his wife Jelena, son Stefan and daughter Tara, who were not in Melbourne, but who were at home (in Monte Carlo) watching -- or so he assumed.
"Well, at least they said they would watch," he added to raucous laughter from the crowd.
Yeah Novak, we reckon they might've been, given it was mid-morning in Monaco. Actually, we have confirmation of this fact.
But it was when he talked about the Australian Open that he really made every Aussie feel a little tingle inside. Quite a strong tingle, actually.
"As Rafa said, and I would have to agree, this definitely is the best tournament in the world, you guys are doing an amazing job and making all of us players feel like we're at home," the champion said, echoing similar sentiments from Nadal.
"It's summertime in Australia, there's a great vibe in this city and in this country in this month of January, about tennis, and about the Australian Open, I can feel it on every corner in this country, and this city.
"You know, people appreciate and respect tennis players and for us it's a huge honour and pleasure to perform in front of you, so thank you for your support."
Everyone loved that. And some bloke in the crowd yelled "You're a bloody legend, mate".
And that really got Novak going.
"Bonza!" he said.
Big laughs from the crowd.
"Those are a couple of new Australian slang words I've learned over the past few days," he explained.
And then he thanked everyone and said he can't wait to come back next year and said he was really grateful for the experience, which is pretty much what everyone in the crowd was thinking after watching an athlete of his calibre.
Love all round. Which is a very tennisy thing, when you think about it.